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Research at UNISA informs submarine habitability for enhanced performance



Research at UNISA informs submarine habitability for enhanced performance

Research at UNISA informs submarine habitability for enhanced performance. University of South Australia (UNISA) researchers have undertaken a groundbreaking initiative, delving into the intricacies of submarine habitability to optimize th performance of Australia’s naval fleet.

This research not only influences the current submarine interiors but also plays a pivotal role in shaping the design assurance strategies for the nation’s future submarine fleet.

Biomechanics Insight Tailoring Submarine Environments for RAN Personnel

Dr. Francois Fraysse, a biomechanics expert at UNISA Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition, and Activity center (ARENA), has meticulously gathered data on flexibility, reach capacity, strength, and movement in confined spaces.

Understanding the physical attributes of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) personnel serves as a cornerstone for designing environments that seamlessly accommodate their unique needs.

Digital Replication Modeling RAN Personnel for Enhanced Design

Dr. Peter Schumacher, Director of UNISA Studio for Complex Human Environment Design (SCHED), utilizes the collected data to create digital replicas of Australia RAN personnel. Employing industrial design and computer-aided design (CAD), digital models of submarine interiors are crafted to gain a comprehensive understanding of the spatial dynamics.

Virtual Reality technology is then employed to immerse researchers in the experience of different body shapes and sizes within the submarine environment, informing crucial interior design adjustments for optimal habitability.

Human-Centered Design Prioritizing Sleep and Well-being

Professor Siobhan Banks, a sleep expert and Director of UNISA Behaviour-Brain-Body (BBB) Research Centre, focuses on countermeasures within the submarine environment to mitigate the negative impacts of disturbed sleep.

Recognizing the pivotal role of quality sleep in cognitive performance, decision-making, and emotional well-being, Professor Banks has pioneered prototype designs that optimize lighting, bed dimensions, and noise levels in submarine sleeping quarters.

Collaborative Endeavors UNISA Impact on Naval Architecture

UNISA submarine research stands out as a collaborative effort with leading defense primes and the Defence Science and Technology Group.

The insights derived from this research not only position Australia at the forefront of human-centered design in naval architecture but also underscore UNISA commitment to supporting defense industry capability through collaborative projects with government and businesses.

UNISA Enterprise Hub and Defense Capabilities

UNISA actively supports the enhancement of defense capabilities through collaborative research projects with government and businesses. Organizations looking to bolster their defense capabilities can leverage the resources and expertise available through the UNISA Enterprise Hub. Connect with UNISA to explore opportunities for collaborative advancements in defense industry capabilities.


UNISA pioneering research on submarine habitability sets Australia at the forefront of naval architecture. With meticulous biomechanics data and human-centered designs, UNISA enhances the well-being and performance of Royal Australian Navy personnel, reinforcing its commitment to cutting-edge defense solutions.

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