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of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia, in Perth, was very isolated from the rest of the Australian states and universities involved in work with the Optical Munitions Panel. Professor Ross could only attend meetings of the Panel occasionally, and did not become a full Panel member until 1944.

Initially, there was little opportunity for optical munitions production in Western Australia, so Professor Ross directed the Physics Department to manufacture lens test plates, which were shipped to lens manufacturers in the eastern states of Australia.

Binocular reconditioning and tropic proofing was also carried out by the University, and advice was also given to local Perth firms who were contracted to make parts for the optical munitions. Later in the war, flash spotters, directors, angle of sight instruments, jungle sights and microscopes were produced in Western Australia and assembled in Professor Ross' laboratory.

The University of Western Australia also undertook to repair and calibrate the optical instruments from any ships in port at Fremantle - including the instruments from Australian, American, British and Dutch ships. The Perth physicists also trained servicemen who wanted to learn how to do these repairs themselves.

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 30 April 1997
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (bsparcs@asap.unimelb.edu.au)
Prepared by: Denise Sutherland and Elissa Tenkate
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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