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WSU wins ONR Global-X grant for new camera technology

WSU has been awarded a US$46,000 grant by ONR Global-X to develop Event Based Sensing in the Underwater Environment. Photo: Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University has been awarded a United States Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global-X research grant worth some US$ 45,944 for Event-Based Sensing in the Underwater Environment. Under the ONR Global-X program, Western Sydney University will continue to develop the innovative event-based camera developed by Associate Professor Greg Cohen and Dr Moritz Milde from WSU’s International Centre for Neuromorphic Sensing (ICNS) .

Unlike a conventional camera, the event-based camera developed by WSU mimics how the brain and eyes work together, resulting in this new technology being extremely fast and data-efficient.  While movement normally results in a blurred image when taken by a conventional camera, such movement enhances the image taken by an event-based camera and makes changes in the environment more recognisable.

“Our event-based sensors do really well in extreme environments, we have demonstrated success with these sensors for space-related applications including Space Situational Awareness to track satellites, space junk, and other objects in orbit,” said Associate Professor Cohen.

“We are now expanding upon the capabilities of our event-based sensors, and further developing our technology for use underwater. It is the first time that these sensors have been used underwater, and we are very excited about the possibilities,” he said.

“Our sensors can be used underwater to detect, track and monitor dynamic phenomena such as air bubbles and bioluminescence generated by submersible vehicles. The technology can also be used for environmental monitoring, distributed early warning systems, high speed object detection, marine pollution detection, and celestial navigation,” said Dr Milde.

This world-first technology is currently used in WSU’s Astrosite mobile space observatory, said Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price. “It will also be deployed to the International Space Station for a research project in November 2021. As a key member of the NSW Defence Innovation Network, Western Sydney University has been able to develop relations with the United States Military, leading to increased exposure and cooperation with our closest ally.”

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