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Sensor fusion for innovative Aerial and Ground based Detect and Avoid (DAA) systems

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Funded by Science Foundation Ireland and involving collaboration with Industry partners including Airbus, Irelandia Aviation and Intel, U-Flyte is a R&D partnership, established to tackle the current global logjam impeding the wider development of drone operation and rollout of commercial services. The research work-plan is based around a series of inter-connected work-packages that deal with the development of novel airspace modelling tools and drone traffic management systems – also known as U-Space and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems. Advanced flight-testing is carried out at Waterford Airport and selected mobile locations across Ireland. Drone services including mapping, monitoring and logistics. Specialist aerial support services will also be developed and tested using real-world, end-use case scenarios. U-Flyte comprises Geospatial Scientists, Software Engineers, Mathematicians, Domain Specialists and Drone Operations personnel, working with the latest Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) and hybrid drones, sensors (Optical, LiDAR, Navigation, Radar) and cloud computing resources. At the heart of U-Flyte is advanced computational expertise including autonomous navigation, Machine Learning and Geospatial Analytics all dedicated to developing the next generation of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) autonomous drone services.

U-Flyte now wishes to recruit PhD candidates to join this aerial robotics team based within the National Centre for Geocomputation (NCG), an established research centre at Maynooth University. We would especially like to hear from candidates with good primary degrees in Computing or Mathematics interested in developing careers in Aerial Robotics, Machine Learning, Computer Vision & Geospatial Data Analytics. If you feel you have the right background and want to know more – please get in touch.

At the heart of this PhD will be the principle that drones can only fly safely,
undertaking BVLOS operations, if all relevant aspects affecting flight safety are known. One key part of this is emerging optical, radar and RF-Sensor technology for detecting, locating and tracking both fixed and dynamic obstacles at low altitudes. This PhD will focus on how these new emerging technologies can be fused and analysed using the latest Machine Learning techniques to allow drones to fly autonomously over cities, towns and farms, along critical infrastructures and coastlines.

Application Procedure:

Please contact Dr. Lucy Cradden, U-Flyte Project Manager at to discuss further.

Funding Notes

U-Flyte Doctoral Scholars will receive an annual (tax-free) stipend of €18,000 (paid monthly) and tuition fees over the 4 year PhD duration, will be paid at the EU rate, directly by the project.
Scholars will have a dedicated work-space/I.T. within the NCG’s postgraduate area and join an experienced team operating in an innovative, dynamic environment.

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