February 26, 2024

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Looking to AI for the future of anti-submarine warfare

According to a recent report, a PhD at the University of South Australia’s Behaviour Brain and Body Research Centre will be sponsored by defence industry giant, Thales.

This aims to look at advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and its application to the future of anti-submarine warfare.

The research is a joint UK-Australia initiative that will help to optimise advanced AI within complex maritime combat systems in support of human operators.

The results from the research will be integrated into spiral capability improvements for the company’s high-performance sonar solutions.

The key to this research project will be combat systems operators and their well-being.

Although systems benefit from increasing levels of automation, understanding the impact on operators, their behaviour, fatigue and sleep patterns is important also.

The goal of this sponsorship will be to find ways to ensure that as increased levels of autonomy and automation are introduced into service, the operator remains central in the maritime mission system.

The research is another step in a long-term program of collaboration and co-development of world-leading sonar solutions for both surface ships and submarines.

As the maritime environment of Australia becomes more congested, the effective use of advanced AI will help operators to maintain their optimum level of effectiveness during periods of sleep loss, fatigue and high or low workloads.

Moreover, this will deepen the Anti-Submarine Warfare Strategic Partnership of Australia with the United Kingdom.

The University is delighted to be supporting the PhD at their University because it is where defence research capability is growing in order to meet the needs of a burgeoning defence industry sector in South Australia.

The University’s Behaviour Brain Body Research Centre has developed partnerships over many years across a range of industries including aviation, long-haul transport and defence sectors to study fatigue and human performance.

With defence and other industries increasingly integrating AI systems, the expert research from the Centre will help to inform how people work best in these new environments.

Thus, optimising operational performance and guaranteeing the wellbeing of the worker.

CEO of Thales in the UK says the innovative research could be used in the Royal Navy’s upcoming platform and maritime combat system procurements.

They recognise the leading contribution that the University can bring to both their nations’ anti-submarine warfare solutions as they rely strongly on academic partnerships.

This is to ensure that they stay at the forefront of this technology in the United Kingdom.

The Co-Director of the Centre as well as champion of research examining the intersection between technology, human behaviour and fatigue will be supervising the PhD.


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