Laser targeting: now on your desktop

A group of Western Australian University professors have developed an algorithm that enables complex laser-targeting systems to be handled by off-the-shelf computing hardware.

A group of Western Australian University professors have developed an algorithm that enables complex laser-targeting systems to be handled by off-the-shelf computing hardware.

Missiles

A trio of Western Australian professors' algorithm could be applied to missile defence, traffic control and sports science. (Gainful missile image by Ed Brambley, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dr Antonio Cantoni, along with brothers Dr Ba-Ngu Vo and Dr Ba-Tuong Vo, devised a simple algorithm for laser-tracking systems whereby multiple targets can be tracked more accurately in less time, with less computing power required to complete the task.

The new mathematical innovation can be applied to targeting platforms in missile defence, traffic control systems and sports science technology.

"By going back to basics, [the team] have shifted the paradigm for surveillance technology," Frank Howarth, director of the Australian Museum said in a statement.

The algorithm has already been put to work on a prototype for the US orbit-monitoring system and the Space Fence program.

The work of the team was recognised last night at the Eureka Prize awards ceremony, winning $10,000 for taking out the Science in Support of Defence or National Security category.

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