Advances in industry – including environmental monitoring, mining and agriculture – require innovations in sensor technology that allow us to sense with increasing accuracy, sensitivity, traceability and resolution. These technologies need to be adapted for the uniquely Australian challenges of harsh environmental conditions and remote locations.

The Autonomous Sensors Future Science Platform (AS FSP) combines the development of fundamental sensor research with autonomous engineering solutions to create new advanced sensing and platform technologies.

In addition, we have created a first of its kind Sensor Prototyping Hub to facilitate the rapid development of sensors and platforms. The hub will enable the acceleration of Horizon 3 research from the lab to prototypes towards potential field trials.

The Autonomous Sensors FSP lead is Dr Yulia Uvarova.

Our Science Areas

Our four science areas are focused on facilitating the development of sensors with increasing accuracy, sensitivity, traceability and resolution even in the most challenging Australian environmental and industrial conditions.

Emerging Sensor Technologies: The development of sensors from new ideas or from basic research. For example, a novel high energy X-ray system measuring the scattering of X-rays through matter for chemical fingerprinting.

Remote, Accountable, In-Situ and Real Time Sensors: The transformation of sensor technology so it can be deployed in the field independently and operate without human interference. For example, developing portable trace element sensors that measure proxy information for food provenance identification.

Scalable Sensor Networks: The design of new, interconnected and autonomous sensor networks and network algorithms that allow for new degrees of automation that has not yet been achieved in Australian industry. For example the development of a software framework for sensor networks that allows communication from many types of sensor systems.

Intelligent Autonomous Sensor Platforms: The development of sensor platforms that can make smart decisions based on the output of a sensor. Autonomous platforms are remotely deployed and adaptable and can be used to solve significant challenges in observing Australian environments. For example, an underwater platform that detects nutrients and tracks outflow plumes to help make smart decisions on waste water discharge.

Connecting the digital world with the real world through autonomous sensors

[Music plays and a split circle appears and photos of various CSIRO activities move through in either side of the circle and then the circle morphs into the CSIRO logo] Image changes to show a close view of a digital sensor, and then the image changes to show a digital 3D display] Narrator: Autonomous sensors are the bridge that connects the physical and digital worlds. Images move through to show a world globe covered with a network pattern, cars moving along a multi lane highway and data can be seen next to the cars, and a city with a network symbol over it] As sensor technologies evolve, a whole new world opens up, a world where technology can make reliable human like decisions based on local and global data, bringing forth new ideas for existing fields in science to be explored. Images move through of a researcher sitting at a desk and working on a computer] And we are equipped to be at the forefront of this transformation. Images move through of two researchers looking at a small microchip, networking lines moving over the world globe, a coastal road, and an aerial view of an open cut mine] Through a combination of fundamental sensor research and autonomous engineering solutions, we will deliver technologies that drive innovation in areas like environmental monitoring, mining, Image changes to show a harvester moving through a paddock, and then the image changes to show a manufacturing line showing bottles moving along the line] agriculture, and manufacturing. Images move through of networking lines over the screen, a road train moving along a highway, a male looking at a power station and operating a tablet, and a 3D network type picture] Our Autonomous Sensors Future Science Platform will address the need to measure the most challenging Australian environmental and industrial conditions with increasing accuracy, sensitivity, traceability and resolution. Images move through of an aerial view looking down on a car moving along a dusty, red road, a view of an open cut mine, and an aerial view of a solar farm] Australia, with its unique geography, environment and industries, will be a major beneficiary of this technology’s future. Images move through of an aerial view of an open cut mine, a close view of a machine moving sheets of ore, and a close view of a whole bank of small batteries all clipped together] For the mining industry, new advanced sensing systems that measure lithium in bulk ore, a feat never achieved before, will advance Australia’s opportunity to supply critical resources to global renewables and battery industries. Image changes to show clouds surrounding a world globe, and then the image changes to show a view of small tropical fish swimming over coral plants] Advances in autonomous Earth observations will deliver platforms and sensors to help monitor and manage Australia’s marine resources. Image changes to show a harvester moving through a crop and data can be seen surrounding the harvester, and then the image changes to show a worker lifting and stacking boxes of tomatoes] New sensor research will create new tools for the biological verification of a broad range of Australian agricultural products Image changes to show a female standing in a crop and entering data on a tablet, and then the image changes to show a close view of a waiter holding a meal on a plate on his hand] including portable and autonomous sensors which can be used to track products from the farm to consumer. Image changes to show a view looking down on cars on a multi-lane highway, and then the image changes to show an aerial view looking down on a city] Autonomous sensor technologies will transform many markets and industries worldwide. Image changes to show networking lines moving over a world globe] An exciting new era of possibility has begun. Music plays and the image changes to show the CSIRO logo, and text appears: CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency]

An introduction to the Autonomous Sensors Future Science Platform. Autonomous sensors are the bridge that connects the physical and digital worlds. CSIRO is inventing the next generation of sensors technologies needed to unlock digital innovations that allow us to rapidly understand and predict the world around us.

What is an FSP?

Future Science Platforms (FSPs) are an investment in science that underpins innovation and that has the potential to help reinvent and create new industries for Australia. FSPs will help CSIRO grow the capability of a new generation of researchers and allow Australia to attract the best students and experts to work with us on exciting future science.

Our FSPs are multi-year, multi-disciplinary investment in our collective future – bringing CSIRO and our partners together to work on the big ideas. Find out about CSIRO’s other Future Science Platforms.

Our partners

The Autonomous Sensors FSP is hosted by CSIRO’s Mineral Resources Business Unit and our partner Business Units are Agriculture and Food, Health and Biosecurity, Oceans and Atmosphere, Manufacturing, National Collections and Marine Infrastructure, Land and Water, Space and Astronomy, Energy and Data61.