Many people across Australia have had a lot of late nights lately, eagerly watching and hoping that they will see an Aussie win Olympic gold.

CSIRO has been involved in a lot of research that has helped Australian athletes, such as hot pants for our cyclists and advanced weather forecasting for our sailors.


The Mobycam working at peak performance in the pool.

Now the High-Precision Optics group, based at our Materials Science and Engineering and part of the Future Manufacturing Flagship, has helped us see swimmers underwater.

CSIRO was called on recently by Seven Network’s* Mechanical & Optical Maintenance group to polish a delicate hemispheric precision glass dome.

The dome is a key component in a setup called Mobycam, which is used for sealing a mobile underwater TV camera when broadcasting underwater action footage at major swimming championships around the globe.

As a result of frequent immersion in chlorinated water the glass dome had developed a stain which appeared like a hard thin film coating on parts of its surface, causing a discoloured TV picture at certain camera angles.

We were able to polish off the hard stain and maintain the precision surface on the dome after traditional cleaning methods had failed.

Seven Network’s Rob Brear was delighted with the result stating that CSIRO’s efforts would ensure crystal clear coverage for Australian viewers at the London Olympic swimming events. Go team!

*Although they are not a broadcaster for the Olympics, some of Channel Seven’s equipment was used to film the swimming.