News & Events

Artificial intelligence set to increase performance for military aircraft crew

15 November 2023

Technology company CAE joins forces with UNSW under the Defence Trailblazer to simulate operational environments.

Mission Aircrew part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) work on board a range of military aircraft, operating some of the world’s most sophisticated airborne electronic systems. Often in the backseat of a fast jet, operating a variety of systems, these roles can entail working in surveillance and battle management, air combat or maritime patrol and response demanding a high cognitive load.

To make the completion of each mission even safer and more efficient, CAE and UNSW are working together under the Defence Trailblazer to replicate complex operational tasks and training scenarios. Using a simulated learning environment, the project aims to improve the decision-making of command-and-control personnel in complex operational environments.

This next Defence Trailblazer project will focus on the acceleration and commercialisation of innovative solutions to address the critical training and operational requirements of the ADF. The Defence Trailblazer has been established by the Australian Government to lift our capacity to rapidly translate disruptive new R&D technologies and provide future workforce skills required for ADF capability.

“We are excited to partner with CAE to accelerate the delivery of innovative training solutions designed to enhance the performance and safety of military personnel in critical combat situations. Tactical readiness will be crucial to the success of every future mission undertaken by the ADF,” said Defence Trailblazer Executive Director, Dr Sanjay Mazumdar.

Mission Aircrew work on board aircraft to perform an array of tasks and are ultimately responsible for the safe and efficient completion of the mission.

“UNSW is thrilled to collaborate with CAE to address challenges in Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence (RAS-AI) by combining cognitive science, biometrics, and artificial intelligence. This project will address defence requirements to understand the training needs of system operators where there is the potential for high cognitive load and task performance risk,” said Senior Lecturer at UNSW and Chief Investigator of the joint project, Dr. Oleksandra Molloy.

The proposed assessment system will integrate innovative tools and learning approaches, including the CAE Adaptive Learning Environment (ALE), to support improved mission aircrew performance, reduced time in training, and increased situational awareness of personnel who operate under various levels of cognitive load.

“Innovation is not a choice, but a strategic imperative for our industry to proactively address the evolving requirements of defence and deliver at the point and time of need,” said Managing Director Indo-Pacific, CAE Defence & Security, Matthew Sibree.

“CAE Australia is honoured to participate in the Defence Trailblazer program. Together with UNSW, we can accelerate the implementation of training technologies to enhance the mission preparedness, safety, and performance of our personnel – our most critical asset in defence capability.”

Combining the expertise of CAE and UNSW, this Defence Trailblazer project aims to develop a unique assessment system that leverages modern learning approaches and artificial intelligence to improve the training experience and performance of Australia’s Mission Aircrew.

About the Defence Trailblazer

Defence Trailblazer is a collaborative partnership between the University of Adelaide and UNSW and over 40 industry partners, with support from the Australian Government Department of Education. The Defence Trailblazer aims to strengthen Australia’s defence sovereign capabilities by developing cutting-edge technologies and solutions, while simultaneously equipping the next generation of innovators with specialised knowledge and skills to meet the current and future needs of Defence.

This Defence Trailblazer is a 4-year program funded by a $50 million grant from the Department of Education and matched by $25 million (cash and in-kind) from each of the University of Adelaide and the UNSW Sydney, with an additional contribution of approximately $100 million from industry.

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About CAE

At CAE, we equip people in critical roles with the expertise and solutions to create a safer world. As a technology company, we digitalize the physical world, deploying software-based simulation training and critical operations support solutions. Above all else, we empower pilots, cabin crew, airlines, defence and security forces and healthcare practitioners to perform at their best every day and when the stakes are the highest. Around the globe, we’re everywhere customers need us to be with more than 13,000 employees in approximately 250 sites and training locations in over 40 countries. CAE represents more than 75 years of industry firsts—the highest-fidelity flight, mission and medical simulators and training programs powered by digital technologies. We embed sustainability in everything we do. Today and tomorrow, we’ll make sure our customers are ready for the moments that matter.

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Media contact:  Ilsa Stuart, Senior Partnerships Manager, 0402260771