Innovation shines bright

Published on LEUT Rilana Ostheim (author), LSIS Tom Gibson (photographer), LSIS Ronnie Baltoft (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, NSW

Topic(s): Science, Technology & Innovation, HMAS Success (OR 304)

Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Bradley Martin holds his prototype LED lighting system. (photo: LSIS Tom Gibson)
Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Bradley Martin holds his prototype LED lighting system.

A sailor’s efforts to be the driving force behind an innovative adaptation to ship lighting systems have recently been recognised by the Centre of Innovation at Fleet Base East.

Chief Petty Officer Bradley Martin developed a prototype insert to allow LED lighting to replace fluorescent lights, utilising existing shock and water ingress rated lighting enclosures to ensure materiel seaworthiness is maintained.

“A paper written by Leading Seaman Lachlan Martin about the US Navy’s success in moving towards LED lighting prompted me to do my initial research into the matter,” Chief Petty Officer Martin said.

“This led to my team and I undertaking part of a habitability project which had originally been abandoned, that involved moving from fluorescent lighting to LEDs on HMAS Success [now decommissioned],” he said.

Three years into the project and Chief Petty Officer Martin has developed a design repurposing the LED lights from Success for an internal LED lighting insert that fits a number of major and minor fleet units.

“The potential benefits of this initiative are significant and include reductions in maintainer workload, sustainment costs, power and fuel consumption and heat loading as well as an increase in lighting system reliability,” Chief Petty Officer Martin said.

“Since LEDs were fitted to Success, man hours spent on lighting maintenance on board were reduced by nearly 95% over a 10-month period.

“Not to mention the significant cost savings in maintenance, power consumption and the significant reduction of Navy’s carbon footprint,” he said.

The recognition of the initiative by Navy Innovation has given Chief Petty Officer Martin a push to continue and expand the project, opening a number of further development opportunities and to progress to the next stages.

“This has been a solo project for the last three years but without the support of the initial team at Success, my partner at home and the recent recognition this project would not have gotten off the ground and gained the recent traction,” he said.

“My vision moving forward is to involve both the Army and Air Force and look at where they can also benefit from this technology.

“I would love to see the collaboration of all three services looking at the possibility of undertaking the further refinement of design, construction, sustainment and implementation of future sustainable lighting systems,” Chief Petty Officer Martin said.

The development of the project is ongoing and collaboration is taking place with external agencies, the War on Waste project and the Defence Estate and Infrastructure Group.