Defence, Cyber and Space

With the defence, cyber and space sectors rapidly becoming our state and national priorities, our researchers are helping government bodies, industry and private enterprise take advantage of emerging strategic, scientific and commercial opportunities. 

A submarine being worked on in a facility

We are constantly developing ever closer engagement with governments and industries to ensure that our research informs governments and industries about our environment, the opportunities and potential threats now and into the future.

Our researchers strive to be world leading in relevant fields of space-related resource exploration, extraction, processing and utilisation research to support human exploration and settlement in space; to be leading in applying artificial intelligence and machine learning, cyber security, and autonomous systems as problem solvers in Defence, Cyber and Space; and to give the Australian defence force an operational edge and reduced operational risks.

We focus on three critical areas of research:

Our research and its impact on society

Our research activities cover a full range of specialist physical, technological and computational capability.

Other areas of particular focus include:

  • data science, including statistics, data analytics, optimisation and logistics
  • advanced signal processing, radar systems and antenna design
  • system execution modelling to optimise performance in size-, weight- and power-constrained software systems, such as for combat management and drones
  • technologies in the marine environment that help reduce platforms’ acoustic signatures
  • self-cleaning and antibacterial coatings, specialised nanomaterials, and other functional materials, such as graphene.

Uncovering Intel Flaws

Senior lecturer Yuval Yarom contributed to the discovery of the latest batch of Intel CPU vulnerabilities, which would "allow a malicious execute code on a system to infer data otherwise protected by architectural mechanisms".

Object detection in space

A collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), University of Adelaide scientists combined AI with observations from low-cost telescopes to pick out mystery objects in and around geostationary orbit, thousands of kilometres above Earth.

Our research capabilities


We have a long history of undertaking collaborative, strategically-aligned research with the defence sector, and maintain strong relationships with the Australian Department of Defence (DoD)  and Australian Defence Force (ADF). Our Defence research directly benefits all ADF branches, and also holds significant potential for civilian, industrial and commercial applications. Likewise, our Space-related research contributes to many other important sectors’ development. Among them: 

  • agriculture
  • mining
  • tourism
  • health
  • education

Contact us

Collaborate with us on a project

Dr Hung Nguyen is the research theme leader for Defence, Cyber and Space. His research spans all areas of communication and information networking, including: Provable Network Security; Software-Defined Networking; Cellular and Ad Hoc Networks; Network Design, Configuration and Routing; and  Network Measurement and Tomography.

Prof Nguyen's projects and research

Higher degrees by research

Whether you intend to work in research or industry, a higher degree by research can give you a competitive edge throughout your career. Find out more about studying a Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy.

see available projects