Our innovations

A picture of the black box flight recorder
The Black Box Flight Recorder, designed by Dr Dave Warren

For more than 100 years, DST and its predecessor organisations have been dedicated to the delivery of thorough, ground-breaking and innovative science.

The organisation's Strategic Plan 2013-18 outlines a comprehensive program to foster innovation for Defence, focusing on capability development and acquisition in partnership with industry, universities and government research organisations.

See Innovation integration and Grand challenges for safeguarding Australia for more details.

We have a long history of innovation in defence science, such as the development of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network, the Nulka ship missile decoy, the Barra Sonobuoy, the Australian Minesweeping System, the Laser Airborne Depth Sounder and composite bonded aircraft repair techniques, among others. Our scientists continue to find novel and innovative solutions to Defence's technology challenges.

Select 'Show/hide search filter' to search some of our most noteworthy innovations.


A photograph of an Orion in flight
In 1979, Defence scientist John Curtin conducted a study that exposed limitations in the Orion electronic support measures (ESM) system that had been part of the aircraft’s original equipment.
A photograph of a pilot taking part in an ALR 2002 radar warning reciever flight simulation
Developed in 1992, the ALR-2002 Radar Warning Receiver was the first such complex receiver to be designed and built in Australia.
Asynchronous data
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) synchronised signals between computers was an important DSTO development.
A photo of the Australian minesweeping and support system in the water
The Australian Minesweeping and Support System (AMASS) was the world’s first operational emulation sweep.
A photograph of the Collins class submarine, soon to be replaced

Defence scientists played a highly significant role in the ‘get well’ and ‘fast track’ programs for the Collins Class submarines during the construction phase from 1993 to 2003 and continue to support the vessels throughout their service lives.

A photo of DST Group's helicopter gearbox test rig
Since the 1980s, Defence scientists have been renowned for developing technology that monitors gearbox failure in helicopters.
An image of two scientists in the outback examining a radar technology rig.
The High Frequency Surface Wave Radar technology, developed by Defence scientists in the 1990s, enables Defence and Customs to better monitor Australia’s northern coastline.
 A test aircraft fitted with a radome for the Ingara multi-mode synthetic aperture radar.
Synthetic Aperture Radar is advanced technology that allows a radar system with a conventional antenna to collect photo-like imagery at more than 500 times the resolution of normal radars – day or night and in all weathers.
A photo of the Kerkanya glide bomb on trailer, courtesy of the Defence Talk website: http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/aus-air-force/p2445-kerkanyaaust-designed-glide-bomb.html
In the late 1970s, Defence scientists had the idea for a glide bomb that would use an energy management algorithm to maximise its glide range.
A photograph of a man looking at a computer screen displaying MEXANS Geographic Information Systems
Defence scientist Colin Harling began research into the software tool Maritime Exercise Analysis System (MEXANS) in 1994.


Key information

  • Achievements
  • DST Innovations
  • Innovation Science