An Intelligence Based Autonomous Flight Control System – PhD Studentship

Cranfield University

Start Date: 20th February 2017
Duration of award: 3.5 years
Location: Cranfield Defence and Security, Shrivenham

Dr Alistair Saddington – Senior Lecturer in Aeromechanical Systems
Dr John Economou - Senior Lecturer in Control Engineering 
Dr David Galvão-Wall – Teaching Fellow in Flight Dynamics and Control Engineering

The studentship is funded by Cranfield Defence and Security and will provide a bursary of £14,300 p.a. (tax free) plus fees* for a total of three and a half years.

The integration of manned and unmanned aircraft within a modern battlespace has the potential to increase mission effectiveness through greater co-operation between platforms. The successful realisation of such a scenario will require sophisticated and robust control algorithms fused to distributed sensor data.

The goal of this PhD is the development of suitable methods for co-operative control between manned and unmanned military aerial vehicles. In particular the application of novel intelligence-based non-linear control methods in order to meet specific flight and mission criteria is an essential part of the project. These methods are expected to be tested within increasing levels of environmental and mission complexity.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have a first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a relevant mathematics or engineering discipline. The ideal candidate should have a keen interest and solid background in mathematics and control engineering together with practical experience of using MATLAB/SIMULINK in the development of non-linear control systems. The candidate should also be self-motivated, have good communication skills and an interest for applied research.

IELTS 7.0 minimum

Funding requirements:
 To be eligible for this funding, the applicant must be a UK or EU national. We require that applicants are under no restrictions regarding how long they can stay in the UK i.e. have no visa restrictions or that the applicant has “settled status” and has been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for three years prior to the commencement of studies and has not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals). Due to funding restrictions all EU nationals are eligible to receive a fees-only award if they do not have “settled status” in the UK.

How to apply:
For further information or to apply please contact: Dr Alistair Saddington, E: T: +44 (0)1793 785219

Doctoral Training Centre
This higher research degree is associated with Cranfield’s Defence and Security Doctoral Training Centre which provides a focal point for engagement and academic discussion for all students involved in research at Shrivenham. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme, provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities with Cranfield’s wider research community.

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