Space & Defence

Areas of expertise

  • Advanced materials & manufacturing 
  • Advanced sensing systems 
  • Autonomous systems, trusted autonomy & intelligent human-machine cooperation 
  • Biodefence
  • Complex systems security & trustworthy systems
  • Cyberspace law, policy, education & training
  • Cyber war & peace
  • Genomics
  • Human decision science 
  • Hypersonics 
  • Internet of Things (IoT) analysis & applications 
  • Micro-electronics 
  • Nuclear engineering & materials 
  • Power generation & control 
  • Quantum sensing & communications  
  • Real-time human performance assessment 
  • Robotics 
  • Satellite navigation & positioning 
  • Signal processing & data fusion 
  • Software defined networking (SDN) for cyber intelligence 
  • Space photovoltaic solar cells 
  • Space situational awareness 
  • Terahertz (THz) radiation


Didn’t find what you’re looking for? The above topics are examples of our expertise but not an exhaustive list. Get in touch to learn more about our capabilities and how they could further your business goals.


3D Printing

UNSW has some of the most advanced 3D printed part production systems available on the market, facilitating work in metal, plastic, or ceramic. Our printers include a 3D Systems ProX DMP 300 and a ProJet 3500 HD MAX.


A multidisciplinary research lab that harnesses the power of immersive technologies to explore complex topics through 3D computer animation, data visualisation and virtual reality (VR) immersive design.

Acoustics & Vibration Lab

The lab offers measurement and analysis of air-borne or structure-borne noise and vibration, and wear and fault analysis. It’s equipped with sound level meters, multi-channel signal analysers, shakers, sound sources, accelerometers, microphones and multi-functional tribometers. 

Advanced Manufacturing Lab

The lab covers the processing of materials with lasers, laser-hybrids, water and air jets, mechanical machining, additive manufacturing, friction and wear.

Aerodynamics Lab

Focuses on the aerodynamics of subsonic and supersonic flows. The lab allows for testing of aeroplane, ship, train, car and truck models, roof ventilators and wind turbines. It also calibrates instrumentation, such as anemometers and pressure measuring devices.

Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF)

ANFF is a national network of open-access micro-and nano-fabrication labs. It is spread over 8 nodes, encompassing 20 universities and CSIRO, supported by 130 staff and maintains over 500 tools. ANFF-NSW focuses on developing devices and structures for quantum technologies, together with advanced electronics and photonics.

Automated Composites Laboratory

The lab contains Australia’s only automated fibre placement facility, along with material characterisation, design, analysis, lay-up and curing, and structural testing of large components with complex loading capabilities.

Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory

Contains a range of unmanned aerial vehicles and wheeled platforms for the development and testing of autonomous robotic systems.

Creative Robotics Lab (CRL)

A sister facility to the National Facility for Human-Robot Interaction Research, the CRL advances human-machine interaction through the application of creative practice and the design of novel interfaces.

Distributed Simulation Laboratory

Contains multi-modal sensors to assess human performance in real-time using data sources such as EEG, voice, video, mouse movements, keyboard logging, and vibrations. It’s licensed to operate a suite of commercial software for personnel training and education.

Energy Storage & Refrigeration

Offers advanced simulation modelling, electrochemical analysis and battery test equipment, climate-controlled chambers and a 30kW/130kWh commercial VRB system.

Engine Research Lab

The lab contains three sound-proofed engine test cells with a range of EC dynamometers, emission gas analysers, fuel injection rate meter and a single-cylinder small-bore diesel engine for performance tests.

Fire Safety & Material Science Laboratory

The lab allows partners to solve real-world fire engineering challenges and includes an advanced automatic interactive cone calorimeter, a thermalgravimetric analyser, a vertical and horizontal flame spread test, limited oxygen index and microscale cone calorimeter.

Gleeble 3500 Multifunctional Facility

Investigates the thermal and mechanical behaviour of metals, alloys, and metal-based composites. It enables physical simulation of industrial processes such as casting, extrusion, and forging; the systematic study of ambient-and-elevated-temperature material properties, including tensile strength, ductility, and creep; and exploration of fundamental phenomena such as solidification, recovery and recrystallisation, and precipitation reactions.

High Temperature Materials Fabrication Facilities

Equipment includes a high temperature carbon free hydrogen/vacuum furnace, 3D ceramic/metal printer (500W laser), hot isostatic press system AIP6-30H, spark plasma sintering (SPS) machine, radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering systems and the Gleeble 3500 Multifunctional Facility.

Indoor Robotics Test Facility

A large, netted area with a VICON motion capture system (MCS) allows indoor testing of drones and other robots, along with human motion studies and sensor calibrations. The MCS provides full 6-degrees-of-freedom (DOF) motion monitoring with sub-millimetre accuracy at up to 200Hz update rates.

Laboratory for Precision and Nano Processing Technologies

Specialising in multi-scale manufacturing, cross-disciplinary characterisation of advanced materials, and solid mechanics, the lab is equipped with a 5-axis high precision turning centre, a 7-axis ultra-precision polishing centre, nanoindenter, nanotribometer, microtribometer, high temperature tribometer and an X-ray stress analyser and material property analyser.

Mechanics of Solids Lab

Dedicated to the structural testing and design of components and materials, lab capabilities include dynamic and quasistatic strength testing, fracture mechanics and fatigue crack growth testing, strain gauging, finite element stress analysis and testing of composite materials.

Mechatronics Lab

The lab has five robot manipulators equipped with vision systems, conveyor system and facilities to develop custom controllers. In addition, it offers mobile robotic platforms, two large-scale field vehicles with complete autonomous operational capability, four drones with 5kg payload and a helicopter with 10kg payload.

Microfluids Lab

Conducts flow characterisation and temperature measurement on the micro-to-nano scale and includes an inverted epifluorescent microscope, microPIV system, Peltier cooled fluorescent camera, Nanosight LM14 with syringe pumps and various temperature and pressure sensors with data loggers.

National Facility for Human-Robot Interaction Research

Purpose-designed to host a variety of experiments investigating how people interact with technology devices, including robots.

Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics

The largest genomics facility at any Australian university, the centre is equipped with sequencing technology, expression analysis and high throughput microarray systems. It provides single cell genomic services, analysis of the microbiome, genome, and epigenome, and is NATA accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017.

Roll-to-Roll Printing/Nanoimprint Facility

The most advanced facility of its kind in Australia, this machine was tailor-made to fill the gap between fundamental research and high throughput manufacturing. It produces complex electronics on thin and flexible film and enables new types of manufacturing including circuits, sensors, supercapacitators, solar cells, energy storage and biomedical devices.

School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications

The school operates multiple labs including: 

  • Audio anechoic chamber 

  • Australian Centre for Renewable Energy has equipment to monitor the characteristics of inverters from renewable sources such as PV. 

  • Communication Network Labs facilities performance analysis of end terminals and contains a large-scale simulation of networked systems. 

  • High Voltage Lab offers testing (AC, DC, and impulse voltages), partial discharge detection equipment, transformer ratio arm bridges, recover voltage testing, thermal testing, and variable frequency testing of insulation equipment. 

  • Mobile Communication Labs include facilities for testing GSM, IS-95, 3G, PCS RF and antenna design. 

  • Photonics facilities for fabrication of polymer and silica optical fibres and optical waveguides. 

  • Power Electronics & Drives Lab contains invert/conductor systems, data acquisition systems and finite element analysis software for magnetic, thermal, and electric field modelling. 

  • Systems Neuroscience & Biomedical Engineering allows for the study of human movement control systems including electrical activity from muscles, nerves and the brain and measurements of joint angles and forces.

School of Materials Science & Engineering

The industrial processing labs include 3D laser printing, hot isostatic pressing, spark plasma sintering, hot and cold rolling, thermomechanical processing, wire drawing, heat treatment, and casting equipment.

Solar Thermal Lab

Houses a range of solar collectors (flat plates, evacuated tubes and concentrating systems), temperature-controlled tanks, pumps, calibrated pyranometers, flow meters and data acquisition systems, for the conversion of solar energy into useful heat. The lab is used for prototyping new collector designs, materials and working fluids. It specialises in the modelling of heat pump systems, sizing of swimming pool heating systems and the development of direct absorption systems and latent energy storage systems.

Thin Film Fabrication Facilities

Equipment includes oxide and laser molecular beam epitaxy systems, scanning probe microscopy system, and radio frequency (RF) magnetron.

Travel Choice Simulation Laboratory (TRACSLab)

A world-first transport visualisation lab that enables multi-subject and multi-modal interaction in addition to remote international collaboration.

Trusted Autonomy Laboratory (TAL)

Conducts research and experiments on human-machine teaming. The lab is equipped with a continuous audio-video capture system, a variety of sensors and interaction devices, and a range of cognitive and data analysis software.

Underwater Blast Wave Facility

The only facility of its kind that allows for the study of blast waves at pressures up to 50MPa. The wave is generated by the spark from a high-powered, pulsed laser focused into the water.

Wireless Communications Lab (WCL)

The lab contains system design and test facilities including a microwave chamber, spectrum analysers, vector signal generators, FPGA development platforms, and software-defined radio platforms. 

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