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Non-Acoustic Signature Management

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The Non-Acoustic Signature Management branch of Maritime Division provides Australia's national capability for the prediction and control of the UV, visible, infrared, radar, electrochemical and environmental signatures of current and future Defence platforms. It also leads materials research in the areas of corrosion, coatings, biofouling control and environmental protection.

The branch provides Defence with independent scientific and technical advice and (Defence) tech solutions for electromagnetic and environmental signature control and management of Australian Defence Forces's (ADF’s) platforms. 

It also contributes to the life cycle management, survivability and enhanced operational performance of maritime, air and land platforms through the use of specialised coatings and platform degradation control technologies.

Defence Tech 

The goal of the branch is to improve the operational performance and survivability of defence (technology) platforms, in addition to reducing the subsequent cost of ownership. 

The branch is critical to considerations of current platforms and provides vital support for projects such as the LAND 400, AIR 6000SEA 1000, and SEA 5000.

Electromagnetic signature control

Our Electromagnetic Signature Control group provides a sovereign capability to enhance the operational effectiveness of current and future platforms through the control of Radar, Infrared and Visible signatures using specialised treatments, computer modelling and measurement techniques. 

Signatures include visual, infrared (IR), radar (RF), and submarine wakes.

The outcome is reduced signatures for ADF platforms, leading to reduced probability of detection, identification and targeting; and enhanced countermeasure effectiveness. These factors help to increase operational effectiveness and platform survivability.  

This group also supports national security and other agency requirements. 

Specialised coatings technology

Our Specialised Coatings Technology group reduces the cost of ownership and enhances operational capability of ADF platforms through the development and specification of high performance Defence paint schemes and specialised sovereign signature management coatings in the Land, Sea and Air domains.

The group has developed a capability to formulate signature management coatings for UV, Visible, Near Infrared, Thermal Infrared and Radar regions of the electromagnetic spectrum tailored for the ADF's unique requirements. 

These coatings contribute to the management of platform signatures and environmental degradation while meeting emergent requirements for environmental and work, health and safety compliance. 

The coatings also meet stability, durability and performance under Australian operational conditions. 

The outcomes are reduced cost of ownership of ADF platforms and enhanced operational capability and reduced probability of detection.

Environmental signatures and protective systems

Our Environmental Signatures and Protective Systems group enhances operational availability and reduces cost of ownership by providing capability in emerging environmental signatures and environmental aspects of seaworthiness relevant to Australian condition.

The environmental signatures covered include bioluminescence, chemical and thermal discharge plumes. 

This group also addresses the analysis of the impact of tropical environments on material performance, shipboard biofouling, marine biosecurity, ship board pollution control and development of underwater coatings to enable Navy to improve platform performance, stealth, and operate under increasing environmental legislative restrictions and classification society requirements.

Specialised coatings and corrosion science

Our Specialised coatings and corrosion science group enhances the operational effectiveness, safety and availability, and reduces the cost of ownership, of ADF ships, submarines and aircraft through optimum application of corrosion prevention technologies to minimise platform signatures and structural degradation. 

This group conducts underpinning research on mechanisms of corrosion, the prediction and management of corrosion-related signatures, the impact of signature control treatments on corrosion susceptibility, the development and application of corrosion control technologies (with a major focus on response to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulatory controls), the assessment of risks, and provision of advice.

Key information

Areas of expertise:

  • radar absorbing materials
  • paints and coatings
  • physics
  • chemistry
  • mathematics
  • engineering
  • materials science
  • numerical and computational modelling
  • bioluminescence, chemical and thermal discharge
  • corrosion science
  • marine biology
  • biofouling control
  • tropical exposure and material degradation