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In this episode, Grant McHerron talks with Andrei Komar, a research fellow at the Australian National University's Research School of Physics, about a revolutionary new technology that could dramatically improve low light vision systems.

The discussion opens with a review of Andrei's career to date and his current role at ANU. We also review the difference between image intensifiers and near infrared as compared to thermal imaging systems that work in far infrared and require cryogenic cooling to operate.

From this we progress to a discussion of metasurfaces and the production of nanoscale products that are smaller than the wavelength of light, allowing researchers to develop a lattice on a film that converts near-infrared to visible light with the assistance of a laser. This leads to a discussion on the collaborative approach used to develop this technology and how the metasurface approach augments vision rather than replacing it with screens on boxes that block vision.

We review the potential for using this technology in military and civilian environments before returning to assess the demonstration system's current capability and resolution. We also discuss the effort required to transition the demonstrator to a prototype, including the involvement of the Australian Research Council and industry to bring funds plus engineering talent that can help accelerate the process.

We wrap the episode noting that while this technology is currently in the demonstration phase, the transition from fundamental research to commercial engineering will allow the technology to leap ahead of current systems, providing a major advantage to any commercial organisation involved.

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The ADM Podcast is produced by Southern Skies Media on behalf of Australian Defence Magazine, a Yaffa Media title.

The views of the people appearing on this podcast do not necessarily represent the views of Australian Defence Magazine, the Department of Defence or the guests' employer.

If you wish to use any of this podcast's audio, please contact Australian Defence Magazine via their website www.australiandefence.com.au or email them via defmag@yaffa.com.au to get involved.

Hosted by Grant McHerron
Producer - Steve Visscher

©️ Australian Defence Magazine - 2021

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