Last month, Lockheed Martin announced that it is partnering with the University of Sydney and RMIT University on Research and Development (R&D) projects to develop advanced technologies that will have significant implications for both defence and commercial space-based applications.
Speaking in Adelaide at the 68th International Astronautical Congress, Rod Drury, managing director – Australia, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to partnering with Australia’s research and industry communities.
“Lockheed Martin has a strong track record of partnering with Australian industry and universities on space-based technology research and development programs,” he said.
“Australia’s participation in the development of advanced technologies that will support the utilisation, monitoring and exploration of space provides opportunities for innovation, local skilled jobs and growth across our space industry, and clearly demonstrates Australia’s world class R&D capabilities in this area.”
Lockheed Martin is partnering with The University of Sydney, focusing on developing photonicbased filters for microwave Radio Frequency (RF) signal processing.
According to Professor Benjamin Eggleton, Project Lead and Director of The University of Sydney’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), the use of light to carry RF signals through fibre-optic components enables RF filters which are significantly smaller, more efficient and more agile than traditional RF processors; thus allowing the data received from transmitters (including satellites) to be manipulated faster, and in many more ways.
“The photonic RF filter R&D project started out as a fundamental research program, and to see this research capture the attention of a global innovation leader such as Lockheed Martin is a testament to both the standard of research being conducted at CUDOS, and the potential processing capability of the optical domain,” he said.
Lockheed Martin is also partnering with RMIT University to investigate new materials and new processing routes for metallic additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing.
According to Professor Milan Brandt, project lead and technical director of the advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP) at RMIT University, advances in metallic additive manufacturing processes and materials, particularly for high-strength lightweight alloys, will have significant implications for aerospace applications.
“This fundamental research may lead to improved metallic additive manufacturing processes and materials, reducing costs without sacrificing quality – making it feasible to manufacture highstrength lightweight aerospace components anywhere, and at any time, even in space.” he said.
“This partnership with Lockheed Martin is recognition of the importance of the additive manufacturing research being conducted at the AMP, and reinforces our commitment to maintaining close relationships with industry.”
The two research projects are the first to result from the Meet the Technologist symposium held in December 2016. The symposium was jointly hosted by Lockheed Martin and the Defence Science Institute (DSI) to explore potential collaborations in new and emerging areas of technological innovation.