A new centre at the University of Adelaide for research into high-frequency (HF) radar technology will play a critical role in the nation’s safety and prosperity. The University of Adelaide, the Department of Defence and BAE Systems Australia recently announce the establishment of the JORN Open Innovation Network (JOIN) Centre for Advanced Defence Research in HF Technologies (CADR-HFT).
The centre’s primary purpose is to develop the highly specialised workforce that is needed to underpin the nation’s world-leading capability in HF systems and Over-The-Horizon-Radar (OTHR), Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).
JORN provides wide area surveillance of the country’s northern approaches and plays a vital role in supporting the Australian Defence Force’s air and maritime operations, border protection, disaster relief and search and rescue operations. It is a world-leading OTHR network and operates using HF technologies developed in Australia.
The three-way partnership will serve to both further enhance radar performance through research and, most importantly, provide a pipeline of talent for the OTHR innovation ecosystem.
Australia has a globally competitive edge in HF radar technology and the new centre, located on the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace campus, will build on this by focusing on research in HF systems and ionospheric physics and educate and upskill experts in these areas.
Staff recruited by the University of Adelaide for the CADR-HFT will be globally sourced top talent. These will include two professorial chair positions: a BAE-funded Chair in HF Systems at the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering; and a Defence funded Chair in Space and Ionospheric Physics at the School of Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences.
The centre will attract post-doctoral fellows who will engage with the broader research community to develop collaborative partnerships to find innovative solutions to HF research problems and continue to grow the future workforce.
JORN is currently being upgraded and maintained by BAE Systems and its network of trusted industry partners. The 10-year upgrade will improve aircraft detection sensitivity and extend the life of JORN beyond 2040.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC, University of Adelaide, said “The University of Adelaide is proud to be working alongside the Australian Government and BAE Systems Australia to maintain Australia’s sovereign defence capability. As a global top 100 university we attract experts who are the leaders in their chosen fields who strive to tackle some of society’s greatest challenges. The JOIN Centre for Advanced Defence Research in HF Technologies will be a focus for some of the University’s best minds who will work on cutting-edge science and technology. The new centre will sustain a skilled workforce for a sovereign capability and promote innovation to support JORN and other defence projects involving high-frequency technology.”