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 a Nulka launch
The Nulka Active Missile Decoy has revolutionised ship protection.
A photo of the Kariwara towed array with Hydrophone technology
Developed in the 1970s, Kariwara is a major defence system developed by Australian scientists.
A photograph of a scientist assessing an F-111 airframe.
Since the 1940s, Australia’s defence scientists have established an enviable reputation as world leaders in fatigue-testing work on defence platforms.
Scanned negative of aluminium alloys
From 1960 to 1975, Australian defence scientists became world leaders in research into alloys with defence applications.
A photograph of barra sonobuoy being tested at night, under lights in a large hole.
The Barra passive array sonobuoy is one of Australia’s most successful Defence joint development projects.
A photograph of the Ikara guided missile being launched from a ship
Ikara was an Australian-designed ship-borne long-range anti-submarine guided weapon that was developed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and achieved international recognition.
Two DST Group experts working on fibre laser sensors.
Since 1961, laser research has long been an important part of DST Group activities.
A photograph of Graeme Egglestone in the field assessing the camouflage of a uniform
In the early 1970s, Australia’s defence scientists developed the original ‘rabbit ears’ Australian Army Disruptive Pattern camouflage to match the Australian terrain.
WREMAPS laser terrain optical equipment
Australian defence scientists were pioneers in applying laser to terrestrial mapping.
A photograph of the WRESAT rocket ready for launch
In 1967, Australia became the third nation to design and launch a satellite to orbit the earth.


Key information

  • Achievements
  • DST Innovations
  • Innovation Science