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 sketch of the Pilot's force measurement glove
The Pilot’s force measurement glove, invented by Dr Garth Morgan, William Menadue and Robert Clarke in the early 1980s, was a world-first for Australian engineers and an invention that revolutionised in-flight testing procedures.
A Defence scientist demonstrating how sound waves are received through the fibre-optic cable (hydrophone).
PIPRS was a concept developed by Defence scientists in Sydney during the 1980s to determine the range of active acoustic transmissions used in anti-submarine warfare to locate possible targets.
A photo of a demonstration rescue using Seamark SAR
Defence scientists developed SeaMark, a marine dye marker, as a safe, effective and longer-lasting alternative to flares and smoke signals for search and rescue at sea.
A photograph of a scientist and the shapes vector system
Defence scientist Dr Mark Anderson was the principal inventor of Shapes Vector, a prototype system developed in 1996 to detect intrusions into computer networks.
Photograph of a man seated at a computer with the Starlight box beside him.
Starlight is a unique, world-first system that allows users of secure computers to access insecure networks, such as the Internet, without compromising their own security.
Brian Quinn conducting stress measurement.
Thermoelasticity is the study of stresses generated by different loads at different temperatures.
A rapid route and area mine neutralisation system (RRMANS) road wheel
Since 1980, Defence scientists have been involved in developing advanced elastomer technology for heavy armoured vehicle components, such as track pads, bushes, roadwheel treads, roadwheel pads and return idlers.
John Roberts investigating composite bonded repair technology
DST Group leads the world in the use of adhesively bonded fibre composites to repair aircraft structures and arrest stress corrosion cracking.
A photograph of an aircrcraft operating the laser airborne depth sounder
LADS is a unique system of laser airborne depth sounding — a self-contained, transportable bathymetric survey system that uses a pulsed laser mounted in a fixed-wing aircraft.
Picture of HMAS Melbourne empolying the latest sonar technologies
Developed in the early 1970s, Mulloka was an advanced medium-range active sonar system designed to provide information on submarine targets.


Key information

  • Achievements
  • DST Innovations
  • Innovation Science