A computer algorithm originally developed to model the West African Ebola pandemic in 2014 is being used to predict flu outbreaks in Australia months in advance, and could help in the fight against bioterrorism.
Developed by Australian Defence scientists, the tool was originally used to forecast the number of people infected with Ebola up to two months in advance.
Flocking birds and schooling fish are the inspiration for creating a swarm of drones that can pilot themselves, and relay critical information to combat soldiers when other communication channels aren’t available.
Defence researchers are building the software to make this a reality, as part of the Self-organising Communications and Autonomous Delivery Service project.
Cool thinking by an Australian defence scientist while a bushfire bore down on his family home provided first responders with clearer satellite images of the blaze, and likely prevented further devastation.
The Sampson Flat bushfires in South Australia claimed the lives of around 900 animals, destroying 27 houses along with other property in January 2015.
Chris Ekins evacuated his family, but while preparing to protect their home he heard on local ABC radio that aircraft were having difficulty seeing through the smoke.
A communication ‘heartbeat’ has helped narrow the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The flight disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people on board.
“Essentially we’ve had to develop, and measure the accuracy of, a way to use the extra data collected during the satellite communication,” says Dr Neil Gordon, Head of Data and Information Fusion at the Defence Science and Technology Group in Australia.
“The main communication data is a ‘heartbeat’ signal every hour, asking the aircraft ‘are you there?’ When it says ‘yes,’ a little bit of information attached to that message is captured, giving hints on the speed and direction the plane is travelling, and the distance between the satellite and the aircraft,” Neil says.