The Technology and Innovation Branch develops and maintains the technology and scientific facilities needed to support the Australian Antarctic Program.

The vision of the Technology and Innovation Branch is to:

  • Lead the design and development of new capabilities, emerging and innovative technologies for the AAP in the areas of Antarctic science, operations and asset management.
  • Leverage Australian and international technical partnerships, manage core functions/facilities, and curate/deliver information collections.
  • Support the AAD in providing platforms for the best possible AAP outcomes.
  • Champion and nurture innovative and diverse partnerships in the ever-advancing area of polar technology and data.

There are several sections within the Branch:

Australian Antarctic Data Centre

The Australian Antarctic Data Centre provides data management and spatial data services to the Australian Antarctic Program.

More information can be found at the AADC website

Capabilities & Facilities Section

Marine Science Support

Marine Science Support provides technical support for marine science activities. This includes running a fleet of containerised laboratories, workshops and storage facilities.

Instrument Workshop

The instrument workshop designs, manufactures, modifies and repairs mechanical instruments for everything from moving mirrors in a LIDAR system, with accuracies of billionths of a metre, through to making drills to sample ice a kilometre from the surface of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Laboratories

Laboratory Services maintains the laboratories and their equipment at the Antarctic stations, on ships, and at our headquarters in Kingston.

Polar Technology Section

Technical Services

The Technical Services Group provides electronic and technical computing support for the Australian Antarctic Program, including construction, maintenance, management and deployment of instrumentation systems for both marine and terrestrial science programs. This includes equipment such as CTDs (conductivity, temperature and depth profilers), underwater camera systems, atmospheric radars, LIDARs, tide gauges and data acquisition systems located on the ship, at the stations and at remote field sites. In support of this work, the Technical Services Group also manages the electronics laboratory, which contains electronics assembly and test equipment as well as environmental test chamber facilities.

Design Group

The Design Group designs specialised instrumentation and equipment for scientific programs undertaken by the Australian Antarctic Division and other agencies as part of Australia’s Antarctic Program. This equipment and instrumentation include fibre optic tow systems, ultra-low power automatic weather stations, underwater oceanographic equipment and optical and RF (radio frequency) systems used in atmospheric and space physics.

The Design Group also provides engineering design expertise to the Australian Antarctic Division program as well as internal and external clients, covering electronics design and manufacture, scientific instrumentation and software design. The group has specialised skills in electronic systems, software and mechatronics.

Polar Linkages Section

The Polar Linkages Section is a small team that fulfils an important role in supporting the Technology & Innovation Branch and the broader AAD/AAP, with responsibilities including:

  • Maintaining awareness of advances in technology which may be relevant to the AAD/AAP.
  • Supporting the introduction of new technologies to enhance AAD/AAP programs in Science, Operations and Safety.
  • Contributing to high-level planning.
  • Providing assistance to the commissioning and transition activities for RSV Nuyina’s science systems.

Extension & Leverage Team

The Extension & Leverage Team are responsible for building, strengthening and enhancing relationships and collaborations with other agencies and institutions outside of the AAD and for establishing requirements for external support (personnel, equipment, training) through planning, extension and leverage. The team is focused on ensuring the safe and efficient utilisation of capabilities and resources in support of Australia’s Southern Ocean and Antarctic Science programs and operations.

Projects Team

The Projects Team support the Branch and Division by managing large and small projects to conduct the assessment, testing and evaluation of new technologies and capabilities to ensure their performance in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic environments and that the capabilities enhance the AAD’s ability to support Science and Operational tasks. The Projects Team work closely with the Capabilities and Facilities and Polar Technology sections to ensure activities requiring technical assistance and support are identified and managed. The Projects Manager also assists the wider T&I Branch with Project Management expertise and advice.

Centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Technology

The Technology and Innovation Branch is a key driver behind the Australian Antarctic Division’s participation in the Centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Technology. CAST aims to advance collaborative Antarctic and Southern Ocean research between the AAD, CSIRO and the University of Tasmania, through pooling experience with a focus on engineering and technology.

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