Sensor Systems

Image courtesy of © Department of Defence

Sensor Systems is a multidisciplinary grouping of world class engineering scientists within the School of Engineering. Our research encompasses sensors as devices and algorithms, as well as technologies required in sensing applications, including remote sensing, surveillance systems, dedicated sensor platforms and networks. We research the means by which sensor data is obtained, then securely and effectively transported, post processed and used to make decisions. A particular focus is in bioinspired and biomimetic approaches to integrating and processing sensor data, especially vision. Our research includes platform sciences associated with delivery of sensors or guidance by sensors.

We perform research and support decision making in a broad range of advanced topics including:

●     UAV and robotic systems

●     Statistical Signal Processing

●     Sensing, control, and machine intelligence

●     Systems engineering

●     Defence and Aerospace Technologies


Facilities and Resources

●     Fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicles

●      3D Robotics Solo quadrotor drones

●      Small engine test cell and dynamometer

●     Aerospace robotics laboratory

●     Simulators, 737NG and others

●     Machine vision and optics laboratory equipment

●     Research wind tunnel


UAV and robotic systems

In sensor systems we maintain a broad spectrum of capability in autonomous systems. Within the group are researchers with experience of every aspect of the design and operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”). Guidance and control of aircraft moving freely in three dimensional space is our core expertise. We also have active research programs on the detection of aerial targets using a range of sensory modalities.

●     Flight dynamics and control

●     Flapping wing control systems and analysis

●     Rockets and missiles

●     Autonomous Navigation using passive sensors

●     Counter UAV and counter-counter UAV technologies

●     Insect inspired robotics

●     2D/3D Target motion analysis using passive sensors

●     Distributed and autonomous UAV control for target tracking


Statistical signal processing

●     Waveform diversity for multistatic radar

●     Optimality analysis of localisation geometries

●     Distributed adaptive filtering

●     Partial-update adaptive signal processing

●     Cyclostationary signal processing

●     Cognitive radar

●     Compressive sensing for radar imaging

●     Pseudolinear estimation techniques for target localisation/tracking


Sensing, control, and machine intelligence

Our expertise in signal processing is useful in diverse industries, from autonomous systems intended for Defence purposes, to medical equipment and integrated pest management in agriculture.The ability of humans to learn and grow in capability over time is highly desirable for robots that will soon be on our roads and in our houses. These intelligent digital systems will also have to be secure and we are developing technology to ensure this.

●     Sensor fusion, tracking and noise reduction

●     Biomimetic vision and sensor processing

●     Machine vision systems for medical and agricultural applications

●     Machine learning and platform management

●     Engine modelling, management and control

●     Antennas and signal propagation

●     Data integrity and network security


Systems engineering

Within the team we have extensive experience with capability acquisition strategy, setting and analysis of requirements and the factors affecting project outcomes. Our team have experience with rapdily assessing risky complex technology development programs.

●     Defence acquisition and projects

●     Behavioural modelling

●     Aerospace project management

●     Defence systems analysis

●     Aerial tactics development, modelling and simulation


Defence and aerospace technologies

We are custodians of a substantial body of Defence related expertise and knowledge. Our team includes world class experts on high speed propulsion and rockets, radio frequency directed energy and ballistics. In these domains our experts are unique in Australia in having actually worked with real systems, such as ejection systems, missiles, and individual weapons for decades while working with Defence. 

●     Rocket propulsion systems

●     Propeller propulsion

●     Aircraft engine performance

●     RF Directed energy technologies

●     Guidance control and navigation of aircraft and missiles

●     Large electric motors

●     Fluid dynamics of propulsion

●     Ballistics and ammunition

●     High speed propulsion