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Science, Technology and Industry (Spotlight Brief 5/21)

8 September 2021
Strategic Analysis
Spotlight Brief
Industry
An Australian Army’s new Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle conducts a live-fire battle run during exercise Diamond Walk at Shoalwater Bay, Queensland.

Laser Technology Applications in Critical Sectors: Military and Medical

Journal of Electronic Voltage and Application – Jun 21

This article summarises laser technology applications in the military and medical sectors. A laser is a device that emits a focused beam of light by stimulating the emission of electromagnetic radiation. This article initially surveys the various contemporary applications of lasers and presents a timeline for developing this technology. It then outlines the various roles that lasers play for armies. The Army uses lasers for simulation and training purposes so that soldiers can practise shooting. They also use lasers for anti-missile defence systems because they are extremely precise and responsive. This allows this technology to target fast travelling airborne missiles and neutralise small agile vehicles. This article concludes that the fundamental characteristics of lasers ensure that laser technology will remain indispensable in the future for critical industries such as defence.

Related:

‘Hidden Gems in the 2020 Force Structure Plan,’ The Interpreter, Jul 20

‘New U.S. Army Laser Machine Gun Fires ‘Bullets’ of Light,’ Forbes, Mar 21

‘Fast and Furious: Army to Test Laser Weapon as it Looks to Field Rapidly Developed System Next Year,’ Stars and Stripes, May 21

‘Laser Weapons Get Ready for the Big Time,’ Military and Aerospace Electronics, Jul 21

‘Army Special Forces Wants Lasers to Shoot Down Drones,’ Nextgov, Feb 21

Research on Digital Twin Framework of Military Large-scale UAV Based on Cloud Computing

Journal of Physics – Jul 21

Earlier this year Australia’s uncrewed aerial vehicle the Loyal Wingman completed a successful test flight. Large uncrewed aerial vehicles have several advantages over traditional crewed aircraft: they are safe, intelligent, manoeuvrable, relatively cheap in terms of construction, maintenance, and operation costs, and have a high load capacity. They have become the ideal aerial platform for Army tasks such as reconnaissance, surveillance, and communication relay due to their operating height, wide coverage area, and long working hours. The authors of this article argue that there is an urgent need to build a cloud computing-based digital twin framework for these large military drones. They believe this is necessary in light of considerations such as test costs, integrated perception, centralised control, business prediction, and mission planning. The authors conclude by listing five priorities to consider when constructing the cloud computing-based digital twin system.

Related:

‘Digital Twins: What Are They and How They Can Help You,’ Market Screener, Jun 21

‘Digital Twins – Timeline,’ Verdict, May 21

‘Loyal Wingman Takes First Flight in Australia,’ Aviation Today, Mar 21

‘Military Drones are Transforming War – We Need a Doctrine to Use Them Right,’ The Hill, Jun 21

‘Emerging Technologies in Military Drones,’ Financial Express, Jun 21

The views expressed in this article and subsequent comments are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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