in Defence / Security

JOIN Centre to focus on Australian radar expertise

Posted 11 October 2023

BAE Systems Australia, the University of Adelaide and the Australian Department of Defence, have announced the establishment of the JORN Open Innovation Network (JOIN) Centre for Advanced Defence Research in HF Technologies (CADR-HFT).

Above: The BAE Systems Australia JORN team.
Courtesy BAE Systems

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.”

The Hon Peter Malinauskas MP Premier of South Australia said: “The new JOIN Centre for Advanced Defence Research in HF Technologies is a perfect example of how government, industry and academia can work together to uplift the skills and capabilities of our workforce. The single biggest challenge we face in growing our defence sector is not securing work – it is finding the highly qualified workers to carry out the complex, fulfilling and well-paid roles that are coming our way.

“This centre will see some of the best minds in the defence workforce of the future trained to support the world’s leading surveillance technology to maintain peace in our region."

Mr Ben Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, BAE Systems Australia said: “Advancing Australian industry is a core value for BAE Systems Australia and is a shared goal with the Commonwealth of Australia and the University of Adelaide.

“The JOIN Centre represents a new era of collaboration and will create opportunities, expedite research and lead to break through advancements in high frequency systems.

“It will continue Australia’s reputation as being a world-leader in the development and export of high frequency technology.”

Air Commodore Regina Gorton, Director General Air and Space Surveillance and Control, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, representing Head of Air Capability, Defence, said: “Australia has a proud heritage in research and development of HF sensing technology that has produced and enhanced the over-the-horizon radar technology and the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN). JORN provides critical surveillance for the Integrated Force, enabling Australia’s National Defence objectives.

“This collaboration is important for nurturing and advancing the HF sensing technologies that will help to ensure JORN remains the world’s leading over-the-horizon radar system into the future. Defence appreciates this partnership that will also foster the development of science and technology skills and provide opportunity for emerging talent.”




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