The Jericho Smart Sensing Lab, located in the University of Sydney Nano Institute, is where cutting-edge researchers and designers are working to deliver unprecedented sensing technology for Australia's defence. 

This specially customised building incorporates state-of-the-art, environmentally controlled laboratories specifically designed for research in nanoscale devices and provides lithography equipment for printing photonic circuits in silicon and other materials as well as packaging and prototyping facilities. 

This unique collaboration between the Air Force and the University of Sydney will deliver nanoscale sensors that can assess physical, chemical, biological, acoustic and electromagnetic environments. The ground-breaking technology developed will be optimised for Australian conditions, including humidity, foliage and other environmental factors that currently pose challenges for airborne sensors. The sensing chips use photons – particles of light – which cannot be affected by electromagnetic fields in the way that electronic chips can be.

The collaboration builds upon a decade of world-leading photonics research by Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of Sydney Nano, and his group at the University of Sydney.  The massive reduction in size, weight and power of these photonic chips is a game-changer, allowing them to be easily fitted onto aircraft, satellites and vehicles.

The multi-disciplinary approach has seen the appointment of Professor Cara Wrigley from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning appointed as the Jericho Chair of Design Innovation. This means world-leading design methodologies will be used to accelerate development and bring the research closer to real-world defence problems. 

The multiple data sources provided by these sensors will be integrated into a sophisticated Combat Cloud – or Internet of Defence Things - to provide the Air Force with enhanced, advanced situational awareness and enable smart, timely decision-making.

Further information

Air Force engages nanotech to revolutionise sensing capability