No optical glass, no skilled workers - how could they proceed?
Where to begin? There was a serious shortage of both personnel and materials. The OMP summarised the 'exceptional difficulties' which stood in the way of its success:
The manufacture of optical munitions was clearly outside the experience of Australian industry. So the scientists had to lead the way.
- No supplies of optical glass were available. Optical glass was essential for the production of high-quality lenses and prisms. All previous supplies had been imported.
- There were few optical workers in Australia with experience in manufacture of precision lenses and prisms. Such components required a level of accuracy at least ten times greater than what was acceptable for spectacle lenses.
- There was a shortage of scientific instrument makers. Like the lenses, the mechanical parts of optical munitions had to be made to a high-degree of accuracy. This was work beyond the existing capacity of most engineering firms.