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Deakin University project awarded Defence Science Institute Smart Ideas grant

The Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong has been awarded a DSI research grant. Photo: Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong

The Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong (AFCG) has been awarded a Defence Science Institute (DSI) Smart Ideas Grant to help develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions for composite materials integrity testing, in collaboration with carbon fibre wheels specialist Carbon Revolution and Deakin University.

Led by AI researchers at Deakin University’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A²I²), and supported by Carbon Nexus, the project will look at how recent advances in machine learning can significantly enhance quality assurance testing of composite components and structures.

The DSI Smart Ideas Grant is awarded to SMEs with innovative defence research ideas, who seek university and inter-industry collaboration to further their R&D. Designed to alleviate the financial obstacles that businesses can face when entering defence research, for AFCG the DSI grant will support feasibility research towards the goal of solving manufacturing process challenges for composites manufacturers.

DSI’s Craig Butler said advances in manufacturing techniques and the use of new materials are very relevant for Defence across a range of areas.

“This is an important study and we are pleased to support the AFCG and their research and industry partners in helping to develop sovereign capabilities to better understand the behaviour and performance of these materials for Australian Defence applications,” he said.

Currently, inspection to ensure integrity, composition, or condition of composite structures involves using either X-ray or ultrasonic scanning. X-ray based testing is expensive in terms of both capital and operational investment.  Sound-based testing systems are relatively more portable and cost-effective but do not offer the scan resolution provided by the radiation testing.

The project aims to investigate how machine learning can resolve these challenges, bringing significant value to defence and advancing Australia’s sovereign capabilities.

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