Deakin is among 22 universities to share in $5.7 M of project funding to develop game-changing defence capabilities.
Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) has received funding for two projects under the Federal Government’s Next Generation Technologies Fund.
The Fund is aimed at engaging industry and academia to research priority areas identified in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement.
“The Next Generation Technologies Fund allows us to draw on the expertise in Australian universities to initiate research into emerging technologies of interest to Defence,” said Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP.
Minister Pyne said universities were matched on the basis of their capabilities in the priority areas and the quality of their proposals.
“These early research projects will provide a strong foundation to build future game-changing capabilities for the Australian Defence Force.
"The new defence project funding will lift the level of collaboration between Defence and academia. It will stimulate innovation and is strongly aligned with the National Innovation and Science Agenda,” he said.
Priority areas include trusted autonomous systems, multidisciplinary material sciences, cyber security, advanced sensors and directed energy capabilities, quantum technologies, enhanced human performance, and space capabilities.
IISRI’s Dr Samer Hanoun said the Institute’s two projects were among 428 proposals received from 31 universities across Australia.
Both projects fall under the enhanced human performance research priority area.
Dr Hanoun, a Senior Research Fellow in Simulation and Scheduling, is lead investigator of the “Operational Readiness Assessment using Virtual Reality (VR)” project, which aims to use VR to enable defence trainers and human performance experts to accurately assess the ability of personnel such as air-combat operators and command-and-control teams to perform their tasks.
“Using VR will help us identify and accurately measure the cognitive factors that predict the operational readiness of individuals,” said Dr Hanoun, who is working on the project with Senior Research Fellow in Modelling, Simulation and Haptics Dr Asim Bhatti and IISRI Director Professor Saeid Nahavandi.
“It provides the ability to create dynamic and immersive 3D stimulus environments in which all cognitive and psychomotor responses can be recorded to provide a high level of assessment options that are not available using traditional assessment methods.”
Dr Bhatti is leading the “Team State Monitoring and Performance Assessment Using Eye Tracking” project along with Dr Hanoun, Associate Professor Chee Peng Lim and Prof Nahavandi.
The project aims to evidence that establishes correlations between team behaviours, adaptability, workload, cognition and shared understanding.
“We plan to develop a software platform to support team-state cognitive monitoring and provide eye gaze analyses, visualisation and feedback to assessors and trainers,” Dr Bhatti said.
“The study will involve temporal pattern analysis of physiological and/or behavioural data and eye gaze monitoring technologies to develop performance quantification matrices that provide information about the cognitive state of the team.”
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Dr Samer Hanoun (left) and Dr Asim Bhatti from Deakin's Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation.