The increased demand for presentations resulted in a bonus technical papers session being staged as the opening day (or “Day 0”) of the Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) 8th Biennial Conference 2016 in Canberra.
The Australian War Memorial played host to the session and the first presenter was Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Sydney, Dr Craig Jin.
Dr Jin presented on “Next Generation Sonars” and he emphasised the importance of having Australian solutions to Australian challenges.
Honorary Fellow of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) within the Department of Defence, Dr Adrian Jones was up next and stressed “you’ve got to know the environment you are operating in (on a submarine) – the ocean”.
He presented the findings of a study into sonar transmission in the ocean, including there is extremely poor transmission in the shadow zone and “trapped” sonar signals can leak from the surface layer.
Sonars were also the focus of the presentation from Sonartech Atlas Senior Systems Engineer, Dr Robert Kovacic. On acoustic intelligence operations, he said once a track is defined, detailed acoustic analysis can be performed and that the spectrum display is used to determine absolute in-water levels.
Babcock International Group masters-qualified systems engineer, Mr Craig Schwartz presented on crew transition. He made a number of noteworthy points, including:
- Transition is not a serial process – there is a high degree of overlap; and
- Factors which impact on crew transition include new/emergent technology & sensor/weapons integration.
He said crew training will be vital success of the future submarines.
Mr Schwartz said: “Moving from Collins to the future submarine is like moving from a golf cart to a Ferrari, but without the right crew training, the future submarines will be like driving a golf cart. No-one wants new capability sitting idle because the workforce hasn’t been properly trained.”
The opening day concluded with the conference opening reception at The Boat House restaurant, on Lake Burley Griffin. With the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, unable to attend due to illness, ACT Senator (and Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs) Zed Seselja delivered the conference opening address.
“The Government remains committed to the capability and availability of the Collins-class submarines,” Senator Seselja said.