PhD Studentship: Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery for Space Domain Awareness from Space

Rapid deployment of a multitude of new small and large satellites, accompanied by a proliferation of space debris pose significant risks related to security of high value space assets, first of all large, strategically interconnected communication satellites, as well as large space telescopes, surveillance and weather monitoring satellites, where any disruption would result in dramatic downfall of the core services for governments, defence and commerce. Thus there is a need to provide radar imaging system, installed on satellites, which can deliver high resolution imagery from a dedicated field of view to monitor space-borne assets and debris from in orbit.

The PhD programme will include wide scope of research objectives on development of high-resolution mm-wave/sub-THz Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imagery of space objects, including satellites and debris. Radar architecture and space deployment parameters will be optimized to enable 2D and 3D ISAR imagery. The signal processing algorithms will be developed and tuned to maximize ISAR imagery quality and information content. Significant part of the PhD work will be dedicated to characterization of observed objects and inference of information on their purpose and intent by classification and identification of the imaged object. This will be done with AI-based methods to segment image, discern small features and identify the object observed. Indicative metrics will be established using deterministic and statistical scene assessments, to create a labelled dataset of high–frequency ISAR radar images of objects, such as satellites, clusters or individual pieces of debris and to train classifiers in end-to-end segmentation process.

The perspective candidate will join acclaimed Microwave Integrated Systems Laboratory and will work alongside PhD students, research stuff and academics in a vibrant and creative atmosphere. Industrial sponsor – Airbus D&S will provide co-supervision, industrial placement and contribute in student’s training. The ICASE provides competitive PhD scholarship with additional top-up from an industrial partner and have a budget for attending advanced courses and conferences on topics, relevant to the subject of PhD.

Eligibility: only home (UK citizens) students are eligible for this kind of scholarship. We invite to submit their application for a position from a motivated candidate, able to master complex subjects and eager to undertake research in a system- level approach with both theoretical and experimental thrusts of activities, publish research papers and advance the research within a team of researchers working in the area. Requirements: At least upper second class degree in engineering, signal processing, physics or other relevant disciplines. For enquires on the subject of PhD please contact Prof Marina Gashinova by email: [email protected] .

Funding Details

ICASE funding by Airbus and EPSRC.

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