Advanced search in
Projects
arrow_drop_down
Searching FieldsTerms
Any field
arrow_drop_down
includes
arrow_drop_down
The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
5 Projects, page 1 of 1

  • Canada
  • 2012-2021
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • 2008

  • Project . 2008 - 2012
    Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/E064361/1
    Funder Contribution: 709,954 GBP
    Partners: University of Cambridge, NRC Institute for Microstructural Scienc, Filtronic Components Ltd, Broadcom (United Kingdom)

    Since the development of the first Kerr-lens mode-locked lasers in 1990, practical femtosecond lasers in a wide variety of configurations have delivered handsomely to a significant number of major scientific developments. It has to be recognised that the application space remains limited by the cost, complexity, skilled-user requirements and restricted flexibility of the current generation of ultrafast lasers. In this proposed joint project we seek to lead the way in the development of a new generation of ultrafast lasers. By adopting a modular approach for laser design we am aiming to demonstrate a platform from which lasers can be designed to address a wide range of user-specific requirements. By taking this approach, lasers for use in communications, for example, will have the necessary high repetition rates and low peak powers whereas for biophotonics high peak powers will be delivered to take full advantage of exploitable optical nonlinearities. We plan to work with vibronic crystals in both bulk and waveguide geometries and semiconductor quantum dot structures as the primary gain media. Although vibronic crystals have been deployed widely in ultrashort-pulse lasers the flexibility offered by conventional laser designs is very limited. To remedy this situation we intend to revolutionise cavity design to enable electrical control of the laser output parameters. For example, we wish to provide a means to users to change from an unmodelocked status to a femtosecond-pulse regime at the flick of switch. Also, by exploiting waveguiding in the vibronic crystals we are confident that we can introduce a new generation of highly compact lasers that will combine many of the advantages of a semiconductor laser with the most attractive features of crystal based devices. In some preliminary work in the Ultrafast Photonics Collaboration we have shown the potential of semiconductor quantum dot structures as broadband gain media that Can support the amplification and generation of femtosecond optical pulses. We now seek to build on those promising results and make the push towards truly flexible ultrafast lasers that will be amenable to external electronic control of the gain and loss components. Progress is expected to lead to a new generation of lasers that can give applications compatibility that far exceeds that available in traditional laser system designs. Within this strategy we plan to employ hybrid approaches where the benefits of semiconductor lasers will be combined with the energy storage capabilities of crystals to deliver compact and rugged sources having pulse characteristics that cover a range of durations, energies and profiles.A major part of this project effort will be devoted to the development of control functionality in ultrafast lasers. The intention is to use direct electrical control of intracavity components to deliver designer options for pulse shaping, modulated data streams, wavelength tuning and tailored dispersion. To ensure that this research is applicable we will evaluate the laser developments in the context of a set of identified demonstrators. These implementations will be used to show how design flexibility can deliver optimised lasers for biological, medical, communications and related applications.We have put together a research team having complementary of expertise and established track records of international excellence in photonics. This project as a whole will be managed from St Andrews University but all three research groups will undertake interactive research on all aspects of the laser development. We are confident that the work of this team will represent cutting-edge fundamental and translational research and it should represent a world leading strength for the UK in the development of new ultrafast lasers.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/F015615/1
    Funder Contribution: 715,310 GBP
    Partners: UBC, La Trobe University, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, BU

    We propose to undertake the first detailed scientific studies into the flight biology, migratory physiology and energetics of bar-headed geese in the wild using the latest electronic dataloggering technology. Ultimately, we will address the question of where are the limits to sustainable avian flight performance at high altitudes and what is the effect of body mass? In particular, how do larger species cope during flight with the combined effects of reduced air density, low oxygen availability and decreased temperature? Only a few species of larger birds are thought to be able to sustain long periods of flapping flight at high altitudes and these have received little study. The best known species is the bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) which performs one of the most physically challenging and impressive avian migrations by flying twice a year through the high plateau areas of the Himalayas, with some populations travelling between high altitude breeding grounds in China and lowland wintering areas in northern India. Despite their extraordinary flight performance and immensely interesting physiology and behaviour, neither the aerodynamic or physiological adaptations required to perform such feats are well understood. We will use miniature GPS tracking devices to provide detailed position and altitude during the flights so that we can identify their route in relation to the geographical topography and environmental conditions. This will also allow us to measure their rates of climb when migrating through the mountains. The bar-headed goose migration is exceptional for such a large bird as aerodynamic and biomechanical considerations suggest that as birds increase in body mass flight performance should deteriorate. Thus, bar-headed geese with a body mass of around 2.5 to 3.5 kg should only have a marginal physical capacity to sustain climbing flight even at sea level, and this ability should get worse as altitude increases due to the decrease in air density. By using 3-axis accelerometry we will be able to calculate the net aerodynamic forces acting on the body of the birds and monitor any changes in wingbeat frequency and relative wingbeat amplitude in response to changes in altitude and during the climbing flight. Their flights are also remarkable due to the physiological difficulties of sustaining any kind of exercise while coping with the harsh environmental conditions of the Tibetan plateau, especially the low ambient temperatures and the reduced availability of oxygen. Nevertheless, bar-headed geese have been recorded to fly between 4,000 m and 8,000 m, where partial pressures of oxygen are around 50% that of sea-level and temperatures can be as low as -20 C. We will measure the heart beat frequency of the birds during flights at different altitudes and estimate the maximum efforts expended during climbing flights in relation to their maximum expected capabilities. To place the remarkable migratory flights of the bar-headed goose in context, some 90% of avian migrations over land occur below 2000 m and the majority below 1000 m, which is well below the level of some of the main breeding lakes of the bar-headed goose (4,200 m to 4,718 m). We anticipate that the geographical barrier of the Himalayas should force these relatively large birds to fly close to the limits of their cardiac, muscular, respiratory and aerodynamic abilities. Indeed, this proposal will address the hypothesis that these migratory climbing flights may only by possible with the assistance of favourable up currents of air due to weather fronts or topographical reflections. Recent developments in electronic dataloggers now make it possible to measure both physical and physiological aspects of flight behaviour in free-flying birds rather than in animals constrained by captive conditions. Access to free-flying bar-headed geese would provide a unique opportunity to study the flight biology of a relatively large bird pushed to the extremes of its performance.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F064179/1
    Funder Contribution: 697,369 GBP
    Partners: University of London, BT Laboratories, Boeing Co, BAE Systems, Home Office Sci Development Branch, TRTUK, CRC

    The SUAAVE consortium is an interdisciplinary group in the fields of computer science and engineering. Its focus is on the creation and control of swarms of helicopter UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that operate autonomously (i.e not under the direct realtime control of a human), that collaborate to sense the environment, and that report their findings to a base station on the ground.Such clouds (or swarms or flocks) of helicopters have a wide variety of applications in both civil and military domains. Consider, for example, an emergency scenarion in which an individual is lost in a remote area. A cloud of cheap, autonomous, portable helicopter UAVs is rapidly deployed by search and rescue services. The UAVs are equipped with sensor devices (including heat sensitive cameras and standard video), wireless radio communication capabilities and GPS. The UAVs are tasked to search particular areas that may be distant or inaccessible and, from that point are fully autonomous - they organise themselves into the best configuration for searching, they reconfigure if UAVs are lost or damaged, they consult on the probability of a potential target being that actually sought, and they report their findings to a ground controller. At a given height, the UAVs may be out of radio range of base, and they move not only to sense the environment, but also to return interesting data to base. The same UAVs might also be used to bridge communications between ground search teams. A wide variety of other applications exist for a cloud of rapidly deployable, highly survivable UAVs, including, for example, pollution monitoring; chemical/biological/radiological weapons plume monitoring; disaster recovery - e.g. (flood) damage assessment; sniper location; communication bridging in ad hoc situations; and overflight of sensor fields for the purposes of collecting data. The novelty of these mobile sensor systems is that their movement is controlled by fully autonomous tasking algorithms with two important objectives: first, to increase sensing coverage to rapidly identify targets; and, second, to maintain network connectivity to enable real-time communication between UAVs and ground-based crews. The project has four main scientific themes: (i) wireless networking as applied in a controllable free-space transmission environment with three free directions in which UAVs can move; (ii) control theory as applied to aerial vehicles, with the intention of creating truly autonomous agents that can be tasked but do not need a man-in-the-loop control in real time to operate and communicate; (iii) artificial intelligence and optimisation theory as applied to a real search problem; (iv) data fusion from multiple, possibly heterogeneous airborne sensors as applied to construct and present accurate information to situation commanders. The SUAAVE project will adopt a practical engineering approach, building real prototypes in conjunction with an impressive list of external partners, including a government agency, the field's industry leaders, and two international collaborators.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F06358X/1
    Funder Contribution: 670,841 GBP
    Partners: UU, BAE Systems, CRC, Boeing Co, BT Laboratories, Home Office Sci Development Branch, TRTUK

    The SUAAVE consortium is an interdisciplinary group in the fields of computer science and engineering. Its focus is on the creation and control of swarms of helicopter UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that operate autonomously (i.e not under the direct realtime control of a human), that collaborate to sense the environment, and that report their findings to a base station on the ground.Such clouds (or swarms or flocks) of helicopters have a wide variety of applications in both civil and military domains. Consider, for example, an emergency scenarion in which an individual is lost in a remote area. A cloud of cheap, autonomous, portable helicopter UAVs is rapidly deployed by search and rescue services. The UAVs are equipped with sensor devices (including heat sensitive cameras and standard video), wireless radio communication capabilities and GPS. The UAVs are tasked to search particular areas that may be distant or inaccessible and, from that point are fully autonomous - they organise themselves into the best configuration for searching, they reconfigure if UAVs are lost or damaged, they consult on the probability of a potential target being that actually sought, and they report their findings to a ground controller. At a given height, the UAVs may be out of radio range of base, and they move not only to sense the environment, but also to return interesting data to base. The same UAVs might also be used to bridge communications between ground search teams. A wide variety of other applications exist for a cloud of rapidly deployable, highly survivable UAVs, including, for example, pollution monitoring; chemical/biological/radiological weapons plume monitoring; disaster recovery - e.g. (flood) damage assessment; sniper location; communication bridging in ad hoc situations; and overflight of sensor fields for the purposes of collecting data. The novelty of these mobile sensor systems is that their movement is controlled by fully autonomous tasking algorithms with two important objectives: first, to increase sensing coverage to rapidly identify targets; and, second, to maintain network connectivity to enable real-time communication between UAVs and ground-based crews. The project has four main scientific themes: (i) wireless networking as applied in a controllable free-space transmission environment with three free directions in which UAVs can move; (ii) control theory as applied to aerial vehicles, with the intention of creating truly autonomous agents that can be tasked but do not need a man-in-the-loop control in real time to operate and communicate; (iii) artificial intelligence and optimisation theory as applied to a real search problem; (iv) data fusion from multiple, possibly heterogeneous airborne sensors as applied to construct and present accurate information to situation commanders. The SUAAVE project will adopt a practical engineering approach, building real prototypes in conjunction with an impressive list of external partners, including a government agency, the field's industry leaders, and two international collaborators.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F064217/1
    Funder Contribution: 480,698 GBP
    Partners: Boeing Co, CRC, University of Oxford, BAE Systems, Home Office Sci Development Branch, TRTUK, BT Laboratories

    The SUAAVE consortium is an interdisciplinary group in the fields of computer science and engineering. Its focus is on the creation and control of swarms of helicopter UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that operate autonomously (i.e not under the direct realtime control of a human), that collaborate to sense the environment, and that report their findings to a base station on the ground.Such clouds (or swarms or flocks) of helicopters have a wide variety of applications in both civil and military domains. Consider, for example, an emergency scenarion in which an individual is lost in a remote area. A cloud of cheap, autonomous, portable helicopter UAVs is rapidly deployed by search and rescue services. The UAVs are equipped with sensor devices (including heat sensitive cameras and standard video), wireless radio communication capabilities and GPS. The UAVs are tasked to search particular areas that may be distant or inaccessible and, from that point are fully autonomous - they organise themselves into the best configuration for searching, they reconfigure if UAVs are lost or damaged, they consult on the probability of a potential target being that actually sought, and they report their findings to a ground controller. At a given height, the UAVs may be out of radio range of base, and they move not only to sense the environment, but also to return interesting data to base. The same UAVs might also be used to bridge communications between ground search teams. A wide variety of other applications exist for a cloud of rapidly deployable, highly survivable UAVs, including, for example, pollution monitoring; chemical/biological/radiological weapons plume monitoring; disaster recovery - e.g. (flood) damage assessment; sniper location; communication bridging in ad hoc situations; and overflight of sensor fields for the purposes of collecting data. The novelty of these mobile sensor systems is that their movement is controlled by fully autonomous tasking algorithms with two important objectives: first, to increase sensing coverage to rapidly identify targets; and, second, to maintain network connectivity to enable real-time communication between UAVs and ground-based crews. The project has four main scientific themes: (i) wireless networking as applied in a controllable free-space transmission environment with three free directions in which UAVs can move; (ii) control theory as applied to aerial vehicles, with the intention of creating truly autonomous agents that can be tasked but do not need a man-in-the-loop control in real time to operate and communicate; (iii) artificial intelligence and optimisation theory as applied to a real search problem; (iv) data fusion from multiple, possibly heterogeneous airborne sensors as applied to construct and present accurate information to situation commanders. The SUAAVE project will adopt a practical engineering approach, building real prototypes in conjunction with an impressive list of external partners, including a government agency, the field's industry leaders, and two international collaborators.

Advanced search in
Projects
arrow_drop_down
Searching FieldsTerms
Any field
arrow_drop_down
includes
arrow_drop_down
The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
5 Projects, page 1 of 1
  • Project . 2008 - 2012
    Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/E064361/1
    Funder Contribution: 709,954 GBP
    Partners: University of Cambridge, NRC Institute for Microstructural Scienc, Filtronic Components Ltd, Broadcom (United Kingdom)

    Since the development of the first Kerr-lens mode-locked lasers in 1990, practical femtosecond lasers in a wide variety of configurations have delivered handsomely to a significant number of major scientific developments. It has to be recognised that the application space remains limited by the cost, complexity, skilled-user requirements and restricted flexibility of the current generation of ultrafast lasers. In this proposed joint project we seek to lead the way in the development of a new generation of ultrafast lasers. By adopting a modular approach for laser design we am aiming to demonstrate a platform from which lasers can be designed to address a wide range of user-specific requirements. By taking this approach, lasers for use in communications, for example, will have the necessary high repetition rates and low peak powers whereas for biophotonics high peak powers will be delivered to take full advantage of exploitable optical nonlinearities. We plan to work with vibronic crystals in both bulk and waveguide geometries and semiconductor quantum dot structures as the primary gain media. Although vibronic crystals have been deployed widely in ultrashort-pulse lasers the flexibility offered by conventional laser designs is very limited. To remedy this situation we intend to revolutionise cavity design to enable electrical control of the laser output parameters. For example, we wish to provide a means to users to change from an unmodelocked status to a femtosecond-pulse regime at the flick of switch. Also, by exploiting waveguiding in the vibronic crystals we are confident that we can introduce a new generation of highly compact lasers that will combine many of the advantages of a semiconductor laser with the most attractive features of crystal based devices. In some preliminary work in the Ultrafast Photonics Collaboration we have shown the potential of semiconductor quantum dot structures as broadband gain media that Can support the amplification and generation of femtosecond optical pulses. We now seek to build on those promising results and make the push towards truly flexible ultrafast lasers that will be amenable to external electronic control of the gain and loss components. Progress is expected to lead to a new generation of lasers that can give applications compatibility that far exceeds that available in traditional laser system designs. Within this strategy we plan to employ hybrid approaches where the benefits of semiconductor lasers will be combined with the energy storage capabilities of crystals to deliver compact and rugged sources having pulse characteristics that cover a range of durations, energies and profiles.A major part of this project effort will be devoted to the development of control functionality in ultrafast lasers. The intention is to use direct electrical control of intracavity components to deliver designer options for pulse shaping, modulated data streams, wavelength tuning and tailored dispersion. To ensure that this research is applicable we will evaluate the laser developments in the context of a set of identified demonstrators. These implementations will be used to show how design flexibility can deliver optimised lasers for biological, medical, communications and related applications.We have put together a research team having complementary of expertise and established track records of international excellence in photonics. This project as a whole will be managed from St Andrews University but all three research groups will undertake interactive research on all aspects of the laser development. We are confident that the work of this team will represent cutting-edge fundamental and translational research and it should represent a world leading strength for the UK in the development of new ultrafast lasers.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/F015615/1
    Funder Contribution: 715,310 GBP
    Partners: UBC, La Trobe University, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, BU

    We propose to undertake the first detailed scientific studies into the flight biology, migratory physiology and energetics of bar-headed geese in the wild using the latest electronic dataloggering technology. Ultimately, we will address the question of where are the limits to sustainable avian flight performance at high altitudes and what is the effect of body mass? In particular, how do larger species cope during flight with the combined effects of reduced air density, low oxygen availability and decreased temperature? Only a few species of larger birds are thought to be able to sustain long periods of flapping flight at high altitudes and these have received little study. The best known species is the bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) which performs one of the most physically challenging and impressive avian migrations by flying twice a year through the high plateau areas of the Himalayas, with some populations travelling between high altitude breeding grounds in China and lowland wintering areas in northern India. Despite their extraordinary flight performance and immensely interesting physiology and behaviour, neither the aerodynamic or physiological adaptations required to perform such feats are well understood. We will use miniature GPS tracking devices to provide detailed position and altitude during the flights so that we can identify their route in relation to the geographical topography and environmental conditions. This will also allow us to measure their rates of climb when migrating through the mountains. The bar-headed goose migration is exceptional for such a large bird as aerodynamic and biomechanical considerations suggest that as birds increase in body mass flight performance should deteriorate. Thus, bar-headed geese with a body mass of around 2.5 to 3.5 kg should only have a marginal physical capacity to sustain climbing flight even at sea level, and this ability should get worse as altitude increases due to the decrease in air density. By using 3-axis accelerometry we will be able to calculate the net aerodynamic forces acting on the body of the birds and monitor any changes in wingbeat frequency and relative wingbeat amplitude in response to changes in altitude and during the climbing flight. Their flights are also remarkable due to the physiological difficulties of sustaining any kind of exercise while coping with the harsh environmental conditions of the Tibetan plateau, especially the low ambient temperatures and the reduced availability of oxygen. Nevertheless, bar-headed geese have been recorded to fly between 4,000 m and 8,000 m, where partial pressures of oxygen are around 50% that of sea-level and temperatures can be as low as -20 C. We will measure the heart beat frequency of the birds during flights at different altitudes and estimate the maximum efforts expended during climbing flights in relation to their maximum expected capabilities. To place the remarkable migratory flights of the bar-headed goose in context, some 90% of avian migrations over land occur below 2000 m and the majority below 1000 m, which is well below the level of some of the main breeding lakes of the bar-headed goose (4,200 m to 4,718 m). We anticipate that the geographical barrier of the Himalayas should force these relatively large birds to fly close to the limits of their cardiac, muscular, respiratory and aerodynamic abilities. Indeed, this proposal will address the hypothesis that these migratory climbing flights may only by possible with the assistance of favourable up currents of air due to weather fronts or topographical reflections. Recent developments in electronic dataloggers now make it possible to measure both physical and physiological aspects of flight behaviour in free-flying birds rather than in animals constrained by captive conditions. Access to free-flying bar-headed geese would provide a unique opportunity to study the flight biology of a relatively large bird pushed to the extremes of its performance.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F064179/1
    Funder Contribution: 697,369 GBP
    Partners: University of London, BT Laboratories, Boeing Co, BAE Systems, Home Office Sci Development Branch, TRTUK, CRC

    The SUAAVE consortium is an interdisciplinary group in the fields of computer science and engineering. Its focus is on the creation and control of swarms of helicopter UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that operate autonomously (i.e not under the direct realtime control of a human), that collaborate to sense the environment, and that report their findings to a base station on the ground.Such clouds (or swarms or flocks) of helicopters have a wide variety of applications in both civil and military domains. Consider, for example, an emergency scenarion in which an individual is lost in a remote area. A cloud of cheap, autonomous, portable helicopter UAVs is rapidly deployed by search and rescue services. The UAVs are equipped with sensor devices (including heat sensitive cameras and standard video), wireless radio communication capabilities and GPS. The UAVs are tasked to search particular areas that may be distant or inaccessible and, from that point are fully autonomous - they organise themselves into the best configuration for searching, they reconfigure if UAVs are lost or damaged, they consult on the probability of a potential target being that actually sought, and they report their findings to a ground controller. At a given height, the UAVs may be out of radio range of base, and they move not only to sense the environment, but also to return interesting data to base. The same UAVs might also be used to bridge communications between ground search teams. A wide variety of other applications exist for a cloud of rapidly deployable, highly survivable UAVs, including, for example, pollution monitoring; chemical/biological/radiological weapons plume monitoring; disaster recovery - e.g. (flood) damage assessment; sniper location; communication bridging in ad hoc situations; and overflight of sensor fields for the purposes of collecting data. The novelty of these mobile sensor systems is that their movement is controlled by fully autonomous tasking algorithms with two important objectives: first, to increase sensing coverage to rapidly identify targets; and, second, to maintain network connectivity to enable real-time communication between UAVs and ground-based crews. The project has four main scientific themes: (i) wireless networking as applied in a controllable free-space transmission environment with three free directions in which UAVs can move; (ii) control theory as applied to aerial vehicles, with the intention of creating truly autonomous agents that can be tasked but do not need a man-in-the-loop control in real time to operate and communicate; (iii) artificial intelligence and optimisation theory as applied to a real search problem; (iv) data fusion from multiple, possibly heterogeneous airborne sensors as applied to construct and present accurate information to situation commanders. The SUAAVE project will adopt a practical engineering approach, building real prototypes in conjunction with an impressive list of external partners, including a government agency, the field's industry leaders, and two international collaborators.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F06358X/1
    Funder Contribution: 670,841 GBP
    Partners: UU, BAE Systems, CRC, Boeing Co, BT Laboratories, Home Office Sci Development Branch, TRTUK

    The SUAAVE consortium is an interdisciplinary group in the fields of computer science and engineering. Its focus is on the creation and control of swarms of helicopter UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that operate autonomously (i.e not under the direct realtime control of a human), that collaborate to sense the environment, and that report their findings to a base station on the ground.Such clouds (or swarms or flocks) of helicopters have a wide variety of applications in both civil and military domains. Consider, for example, an emergency scenarion in which an individual is lost in a remote area. A cloud of cheap, autonomous, portable helicopter UAVs is rapidly deployed by search and rescue services. The UAVs are equipped with sensor devices (including heat sensitive cameras and standard video), wireless radio communication capabilities and GPS. The UAVs are tasked to search particular areas that may be distant or inaccessible and, from that point are fully autonomous - they organise themselves into the best configuration for searching, they reconfigure if UAVs are lost or damaged, they consult on the probability of a potential target being that actually sought, and they report their findings to a ground controller. At a given height, the UAVs may be out of radio range of base, and they move not only to sense the environment, but also to return interesting data to base. The same UAVs might also be used to bridge communications between ground search teams. A wide variety of other applications exist for a cloud of rapidly deployable, highly survivable UAVs, including, for example, pollution monitoring; chemical/biological/radiological weapons plume monitoring; disaster recovery - e.g. (flood) damage assessment; sniper location; communication bridging in ad hoc situations; and overflight of sensor fields for the purposes of collecting data. The novelty of these mobile sensor systems is that their movement is controlled by fully autonomous tasking algorithms with two important objectives: first, to increase sensing coverage to rapidly identify targets; and, second, to maintain network connectivity to enable real-time communication between UAVs and ground-based crews. The project has four main scientific themes: (i) wireless networking as applied in a controllable free-space transmission environment with three free directions in which UAVs can move; (ii) control theory as applied to aerial vehicles, with the intention of creating truly autonomous agents that can be tasked but do not need a man-in-the-loop control in real time to operate and communicate; (iii) artificial intelligence and optimisation theory as applied to a real search problem; (iv) data fusion from multiple, possibly heterogeneous airborne sensors as applied to construct and present accurate information to situation commanders. The SUAAVE project will adopt a practical engineering approach, building real prototypes in conjunction with an impressive list of external partners, including a government agency, the field's industry leaders, and two international collaborators.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F064217/1
    Funder Contribution: 480,698 GBP
    Partners: Boeing Co, CRC, University of Oxford, BAE Systems, Home Office Sci Development Branch, TRTUK, BT Laboratories

    The SUAAVE consortium is an interdisciplinary group in the fields of computer science and engineering. Its focus is on the creation and control of swarms of helicopter UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that operate autonomously (i.e not under the direct realtime control of a human), that collaborate to sense the environment, and that report their findings to a base station on the ground.Such clouds (or swarms or flocks) of helicopters have a wide variety of applications in both civil and military domains. Consider, for example, an emergency scenarion in which an individual is lost in a remote area. A cloud of cheap, autonomous, portable helicopter UAVs is rapidly deployed by search and rescue services. The UAVs are equipped with sensor devices (including heat sensitive cameras and standard video), wireless radio communication capabilities and GPS. The UAVs are tasked to search particular areas that may be distant or inaccessible and, from that point are fully autonomous - they organise themselves into the best configuration for searching, they reconfigure if UAVs are lost or damaged, they consult on the probability of a potential target being that actually sought, and they report their findings to a ground controller. At a given height, the UAVs may be out of radio range of base, and they move not only to sense the environment, but also to return interesting data to base. The same UAVs might also be used to bridge communications between ground search teams. A wide variety of other applications exist for a cloud of rapidly deployable, highly survivable UAVs, including, for example, pollution monitoring; chemical/biological/radiological weapons plume monitoring; disaster recovery - e.g. (flood) damage assessment; sniper location; communication bridging in ad hoc situations; and overflight of sensor fields for the purposes of collecting data. The novelty of these mobile sensor systems is that their movement is controlled by fully autonomous tasking algorithms with two important objectives: first, to increase sensing coverage to rapidly identify targets; and, second, to maintain network connectivity to enable real-time communication between UAVs and ground-based crews. The project has four main scientific themes: (i) wireless networking as applied in a controllable free-space transmission environment with three free directions in which UAVs can move; (ii) control theory as applied to aerial vehicles, with the intention of creating truly autonomous agents that can be tasked but do not need a man-in-the-loop control in real time to operate and communicate; (iii) artificial intelligence and optimisation theory as applied to a real search problem; (iv) data fusion from multiple, possibly heterogeneous airborne sensors as applied to construct and present accurate information to situation commanders. The SUAAVE project will adopt a practical engineering approach, building real prototypes in conjunction with an impressive list of external partners, including a government agency, the field's industry leaders, and two international collaborators.