The CSIR will use the AAD (Africa Aerospace and Defence) exhibition to showcase some of the latest strategic aerospace and defence science, engineering and technologies (SET) South Africa is home to.
Use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), maritime domain awareness, cyber defence, border safeguarding, integrated radar and sensor systems as well as sonar, laser, materials and manufacturing technologies are some of the subjects to which the CSIR has – and will be – responding.
In a statement the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) said it had a key role as an independent national science agency to support government’s national security imperatives and support the expansion of a healthy local defence industry via technology transfer and collaborative ventures. Through the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI) the CSIR also supports the Department of Trade and Industry by contributing to skilling in this sector.
“The CSIR has a substantial track record in defence science, technology and innovation and has a number of strategic international research and development partnerships helping keep South Africa on par with global developments and providing opportunities for skills exchanges and human capital development,” CSIR media relations manager Tendani Tsedu said.
Exhibits on display will include collaborative projects in radar test and evaluation platforms; partnerships in border security and support to anti-rhino poaching; custom technologies used by SA Special Forces; use of composite materials and laser-based services; mid-infrared lasers for sensing and military applications; gas turbine developments and technology to protect crews of personnel carriers against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and research into mobility and soldier sustainability.
The CSIR has also developed techniques for cyber security and network vulnerability testing, a suite of modelling and simulation environments used for test and evaluation or training purposes and integrative control room integrations for law enforcement or military command centres.
The science and technology agency will also be participating in the AAD Youth development programme that runs concurrently with the exhibition. This part of AAD is where young people can obtain some insight into and information about specific study fields related to careers in the SET domain. The CSIR offers bursaries, vacation and studentship support options. These are aimed at students and young professionals keen on careers in the defence, laser technology and aeronautics domains.