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Robust Formation Control for a Cooperative Set of UAVs - GREENCDT

   Department of Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

A fully-funded PhD studentship is available for an outstanding graduate with specific interest on robotics, control as well as image processing techniques. The project is in close collaboration with the industry partner to develop a novel robust formation control system for a fleet of UAVs. The main objective is to develop a system that addresses the inherent uncertainty in the nuclear industry case study environments for applications such as cooperative load transportation, cooperative exploration of the nuclear sites, cooperative inspection and characterisation of active sites, and development of a mobile sensor network for source and leakage detection. Engineering research at Lancaster University has been rated as world-leading in the 2022 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and you will join a dedicated team of scientists working on a range of exciting topics in robotics.

Formation control of a multi-UAV system can have a great impact on the automation of the nuclear-decommissioning tasks and the integration of digital technologies and cyber-physical systems within the nuclear industry. In the project, each UAV is equipped with a range of sensors for effective perception and collision-free navigation through the environment. Due to the environmental uncertainties and disturbances as well as the incurred faults on the sensors and actuators, the precise positioning of the UAVs in a GPS denied environment is a challenging task. Moreover, the control system should be fault-tolerant and robust against such uncertainties and possible faults. Therefore, the main objective of the project is to design a resilient cooperative unmanned aerial system to operate in the harsh nuclear environment for an extended period of time.  

Eligibility Criteria

Potential candidates for this position are expected to have the following qualifications: 

  • Should have or expect to achieve a first-class or upper second-class degree in Engineering at the level of MSc, MEng, etc in a relevant subject. 
  • Sufficient background in dynamic systems, control theory, and closely related disciplines. 
  • Practical experiences in the implementation of the control algorithms. 
  • Computer programming skills such as MATLAB and Python are essential for the post. 
  • You should have excellent interpersonal skills, work effectively in a team and have experience in preparing presentations, reports or journal papers to the highest levels of quality. 

To declare your interest and for further information, please send a copy of your CV along with the cover letter to Dr Allahyar Montazeri (). 

The formal application should be made via the Lancaster University online portal once it is reviewed and considered for the position.

Funding Notes

£50k contribution from Sellafield.

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