The Defence Science and Technology Organisation has focused on implementing the directions outlined in the White Paper and Defence Update 2003 by seeking to make best use of technology and expanding the skills required to exploit technology to Australia's advantage. This included major contributions to Defence outputs and the Government's national research priorities1, such as safeguarding Australia and frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries, as well as improving the organisation and developing its people.
Contribution to Defence Outputs
Output 1 - Defence Operations
The research conducted during the year in support of Defence operations included:
- Command of Operations - improving the effective application of information technologies in a collocated headquarters, and technical support to enhancing a continuous situation awareness capability for command decision making. The organisation also conducted research into facilitating secure information exchange with allies and coalition partners; provided technical advice on command support systems integration issues; and provided technical support to improve network-enabled collaboration by developing collaborative tools and information systems architectures.
- ADF Military Operations and Exercises - deploying personnel to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in Iraq to assist in the detection and identification of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological materials. The organisation also deployed field operations research sections to support both the United Nations Mission in support of East Timor, and ADF elements deployed in the Middle East area of operations. Additionally, the organisation provided technical support to network-enabled warfighting information architectures and systems for joint and coalition operations.
- Contribution to National Support Tasks - providing support and technical advice to national security agencies including Customs, Coastwatch and emergency services.
Output 2 - Navy Capabilities
The maritime science and technology research program included research by DSTO in the following areas:
- Amphibious Lift and Afloat Support - providing advice on through-life issues for amphibious and afloat support vessels and on proposed enhancements to both the fleet-in-being and the future fleet.
- Collins-class Submarine - providing advice on the replacement combat system and on issues relating to the structural integrity of the hull and propulsion systems. The organisation provided the Navy with operational analysis support to joint exercises and assisted in offensive and defensive tactics-development. The organisation also developed a structural integrity research program aimed at extending the lives of the existing propellers until third-generation propellers become available. An urgent response was provided following the failure of hoses on HMAS Dechaineux. The cause of the failure was identified and mitigation steps put in place.
- Major Surface Combatants - providing support to the Anzac anti-ship missile defence upgrade; research into the Nulka active missile decoy's effectiveness, signature reduction and operational tactics; and using the virtual ship simulation facility to evaluate options for future platforms and network-enabled warfare concepts. The organisation conducted research into reducing the cost of ownership for the Anzac and guided missile frigate platforms, conducted capability options analysis studies in support of the air warfare destroyer project and provided analytical support to the Navy's wargaming of future fleet concepts.
- Patrol boats - providing advice on crewing and other human factors issues, and supporting the replacement patrol boat project's tender evaluation process.
- Mine Warfare - developing new concepts for operations and capability management and improving mine detection techniques.
- Naval Aviation Operations - providing advice on managing the structural integrity of the aircraft fleet and on reducing the time expended on aircraft maintenance.
Output 3 - Army Capabilities
The land science and technology research program included research by DSTO in the following areas:
- Special Forces Operations - optimising the mobility, firepower and survivability of the special forces vehicle fleet, improving counter-surveillance and signature management techniques, and assisting in developing counter-terrorism capabilities.
- Mechanised Operations - developing landmine survivability enhancement kits for operational 6x6 Land Rover and long range patrol vehicles and providing technical advice on current fleet upgrades.
- Light Infantry Operations - providing advice on enhancing the soldier combat system, supporting collective training by improving manoeuvre capability, and research into conducting military operations in urban terrain.
- Army Aviation Operations - providing science and technology support to the acquisition and introduction into service of the armed reconnaissance helicopter. Technical advice was also provided on improving helicopter night vision devices and head-mounted displays, reducing the risk of premature failure of components in Black Hawk engines, and safe envelopes for helicopter-slung loads operations.
- Regional Surveillance - improving battlespace visualisation, planning and decision-support systems. The organisation also conducted research into land-based acoustic surveillance systems and hyperspectral surveillance.
- Protective Operations - supporting the Incident Response Regiment in expanding the mobile analytical laboratory, improving verification technologies for alleged chemical or biological weapons, and research into contamination control and biomedical defence.
Output 4 - Air Force Capabilities
The air science and technology research program included research by DSTO in the following areas:
- Air Strike/Reconnaissance - providing support to the F-111 sole operator program including structural integrity advice on the short-wing replacements, advice on the operational tactical deployment of weapons and on electronic warfare and radar systems.
- Tactical Fighter Operations - providing technical advice on F/A-18 airframe life management strategies required to reach planned withdrawal date and on the management of the propulsion system. The organisation also provided advice on improving the effectiveness of the radar, support to the acquisition and introduction into service of air-to-air missile systems, including an assessment of their performance, and support to Australian participation in the Joint Strike Fighter system design and development phase.
- Strategic Surveillance - providing technical advice on improving ground-based surveillance systems and aerial surveillance capability, including developing options on how unmanned aerial vehicles can best be utilised to augment the existing force structure; and support to the acquisition of the airborne early warning and control aircraft. The organisation also conducted research into force development and simulation using the virtual air environment.
- Maritime Patrol Aircraft Operations - undertaking capability analysis for the replacement of the maritime patrol and response capability, providing technical advice and support to extend the life of the current airframe and engine systems, and providing advice on enhancing the avionics and sensor systems.
- Airlift - providing acquisition support for replacement of the air refuelling capability, technical advice on propulsion systems and aircrew workloads, and research into developing and validating countermeasure techniques using simulation.
Output 5 - Strategic Policy
The research conducted and support given to Strategic Policy by DSTO included:
- Strategic and International Policy, Activities and Engagement - maintaining effective relationships with other countries via The Technical Cooperation Program with the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, and also separate bilateral arrangements with countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France. The organsiation also promoted interaction with regional countries, provided advice to regional defence forces on sustainment and logistical issues, supported regional countries' combined operations with the ADF and promoted dialogue on science and technology issues of mutual interest. In addition, the organisation provided technical advice and support to United Nations disarmament and arms control initiatives.
- Military Strategy and Command - conducting research into strategic-level decision making and providing advice on future warfare, military strategy and capability planning issues.
- Command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities - evaluating architectural solutions for information flows and analysis capabilities, assessing the Defence integrated surveillance system, and providing technical advice and support on developing a range of sensors and radar systems.
Output 6 - Intelligence
The research conducted and support given to Intelligence by DSTO included developing and delivering network analysis and protection tools for Defence, further research into assessing computer networks and protecting system integrity, and technical advice and support on multi-level security issues.
Making the Best Use of Science and Technology and Australian Industry
DSTO continued to implement change strategies and organisational improvement initiatives during 2002-03. Achievements included:
- increasing support for Defence's capability analysis and decision making through establishing a new Scrutiny and Analysis Branch;
- developing closer customer partnerships through continuing liaison coordinated via the Defence Materiel Organisation/Defence Science and Technology Organisation board;
- broadening the organisation's technical base through the Government's national research priorities initiatives;
- developing and implementing new people strategies including the continuing education initiative; and
- reviewing the organisation's science and technology base through developing and reviewing the technology plan.
The organisation's technology plan, developed in 2002, was refined in 2003 to provide strategic guidance to the science and technology program over the next five to ten years. The technology plan aligns the organisation's future science and technology priorities with client needs in light of defence technology trends and the organisation's expertise in both the ADF environment and science and technology domains.
The Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council acknowledged that a new organisation was needed to coordinate scientific support for national counter-terrorism efforts. The Prime Minister announced in June 2003 that a new science, engineering and technology unit would be established, during 2003-04, in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation will be represented in the unit.
Significant effort was applied during the year to research in 'revolution in military affairs' technologies and to researching network security and communications in support of network-centric warfare. Robust, secure communications and control networks are a pre requisite for the conduct of any network-centric operations. Network security is essential in protecting the national information infrastructure and countering a variety of forms of asymmetric threats. Research activities in this area included enhancing and developing security architectures, technical support to improve evaluation methodologies for computer networks, and a significant collaboration with the United States via the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in new methods for securing extremely large networks. Australian-researched prototype technology from the organisation has been made available to the United States Government and is undergoing tests for both functionality and the ability to scale to massive networks. Other work included developing secure communication network systems to support tactical and mobile communications.
Backing Australia's Ability -- Industry Involvement
The organisation continued to implement the Government's 2001 innovation statement Backing Australia's Ability through contributing to national research priorities. The organisation's research program included:
- improving national support for transformational defence technologies by introducing a number of new initiatives including research programs in counter-terrorism, network-centric warfare, battlespace automation, joint experimentation, reducing the costs of ownership, and better support to operations and equipment acquisition; and
- enhancing Defence capability through developing frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries by adopting initiatives to address smart information use and network-centric warfare capabilities, and strengthening current working arrangements with National Information and Communications Technology Australia.
The organisation's commitment to national wealth creation was evidenced through strengthening links with industry, other government research organisations, cooperative research centres and universities.
Further licences to transfer dual use defence technologies to industry were also approved. These included a licence agreement with Daronmont Technologies to commercialise the 'Blue Owl' advanced radio frequency surveillance technology, and an intellectual property licence with Applied Explosives Technology to allow the company to access Defence explosive ordnance disposal technology.
Research agreements with universities and other centres of expertise around Australia were further developed and expanded with two additional memorandums of understanding being signed with industry.
The organisation continued to support Australian industry through undertaking research and development under contract in areas where industry holds unique facilities or capabilities, particularly under its outsourcing program of technical support service contracts.
The single science and technology career structure, introduced in 2001-02, is currently being evaluated to ensure it provides a broad range of opportunities for staff and supports longer-term change strategies.
The feedback and development scheme, under the single career structure, was consolidated and enhanced by the introduction of a number of workshops to assist managers and staff to develop interpersonal skills and enhance self-management and self-awareness. Staff participation in postgraduate science and technology studies continued to grow under the continuing education initiative, introduced in 2001-02.
- National research priorities are coordinated by the Department of Education, Science and Training. Additional information is available at: http://www.dest.gov.au/priorities/priorities.htm |