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Maritime target detection by high-resolution sub-THz imaging radar


   Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering

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  Prof M S Gashinova, Prof M Cherniakov  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications for this prestigious ICASE Scholarship are invited from an academically gifted and motivated UK candidate with first (at least upper second) degree in Physics or relevant disciplines, such as Communication and Electrical Engineering Sciences with keen interest in physics-oriented high impact research in the area of situational awareness for autonomous marine crafts. The PhD student will work in renowned Microwave Integrated Systems Laboratory (MISL) of the University of Birmingham with placement at BAE Systems. The ICASE focuses on the adaptation of image processing techniques to high-resolution radar data that will allow the detection and subsequent classification of marine objects within sea clutter using a novel anomaly detection approach.

While the main benefits are expected to be coming from use of sub-THz radar, the research, development and findings will be relevant to any radar sensing either in some aspects or by adapting the whole concept of providing situational awareness. Wider applications encompass land mapping radar, security imaging, remote sensing etc.

Several objectives will be pursued during PhD study: (i) physics-based modeling of scattering from dynamic sea scene & embedded small targets; (ii) radar image formation and fusion with other sensing modalities (iii) formulation of the concept of data anomalies and derivation of metrics for anomaly detection (iv) radar image segmentation and classification (v) experimentation to verify developed algorithms and approaches.

Other activities supporting the study will also be carried out when required. UoB training and support include: (i) access to advanced Intensive radar and statistical signal processing courses (ii) access to a diverse range of wide range of bespoke sensors, as well as MISL proprietary algorithms and software; (iii) participation at top international conferences and dissemination events of EMSIG Radar UK society focus groups; (iv) access to UoB internal courses on research and networking skills.

At BAE Systems, the student will undertake: (i) sea survival and safety training; (ii) practical sea trials, gathering real-world data in representative environments; (iii) situational awareness and sensor data fusion for autonomous marine platforms.

This PhD project will be associated with the ongoing EPSRC project so the student will be able to directly use the results of EP/S033238/1 - Sub-THz Radar sensing of the Environment for future Autonomous Marine platforms-STREAM which is a collaborative project with the University of St-Andrews and a number of industrial partners. This will provide a PhD student with a valuable opportunity to work in a highly collaborative environment in the largest UK academic radar group and UK defense flagship industrial partner BAE system. Working alongside research staff and other PhD students at different stages of their studies in MISL as well as a team of experts across academia and industry will be beneficial for PhD student personal development in research, integration into wide research community, and collaboration. During their study, the student will spend at least three months at the company.


Funding Notes

The successful candidate will receive funding for a full EPSRC studentship for up to four years, which will cover fees at UK rates and provide a stipend, additionally topped up by BAE Systems. There will also be provision for some travel funds, especially for the costs associated with a placement at BAE systems, as well as for conferences and relevant dissemination events.
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