TASDCRC – Advance Queensland Research Fellows

The Advanced Queensland Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC Fellowship program provides three year grants to the best researchers in Queensland, Australia, allowing them to pursue innovative and transformational research projects aimed at tackling open problems in AI and autonomy. The Centre grants, and the opportunity the Centre offers for its Fellows to engage directly with critical stakeholders in Defence and industry, maximises the chance of translation of the work into practice.

Trusted Autonomous Systems is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Research Fellows who, individually and collectively, personify the strength of Queensland’s publicly funded innovation sector.  We are thrilled to have them on board and look forward to watching their projects grow and bear fruit.

Dr Andrew Back (UQ) is developing new techniques for extracting models of meaning from limited data. His approach, Synthetic Language and Information Topology (SLAIT) AI, promises to dramatically accelerate the ability of a machine to understand and extract information from novel data and situations using algorithms that can build models of information contained in that data with very limited samples. He has already applied his work to building models of language in text using very small samples and detecting unauthorised alterations that don’t fit with those models.

Dr Jessica Korte (UQ) is applying her expertise in Auslan (Australian sign language) to create technologies that support rich, real-time visual-gestural communication between machines and humans. Jessica’s research will develop the underlying theory associated with visual sign  and implement this within a technology pipeline that promises to improve the lives of the deaf community in Australia, but that will also directly support the Centre’s desire to allow Australia’s soldiers to meaningfully interact with and control robots in the field.

Dr Pauline Pounds (UQ) believes in solving challenging problems using the simplest methods possible, and is a leading proponent in embodied intelligence, where difficult cognitive problems are resolved by exploiting a robot’s embodiment. Pauline’s research project involves developing and exploiting robotic whisker technology to allow autonomous systems to move and avoid obstacles in highly turbulent environments or in highly constricted indoor spaces without needing to use heavy cameras or complex, expensive lidar systems.

You can read more about their projects on our website at www.tasdcrc.com.au/fellows. This blog will continue to bring you updates on and announcements about the Fellows’ work. Blog announcements will be reposted on TASDCRC Twitter and LinkedIn so you don’t miss anything!

QinetiQ Australia to design and construct the Queensland Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Test Range

QinetiQ Australia has been awarded a contract to design and construct an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flight test range (FTR) on behalf of the Queensland Government.

The FTR will be located at Cloncurry Aerodrome in North West Queensland and will consist of access to a commercial quality runway, dedicated hangar and workshop, range control centre, range control system including a primary surveillance radar and other surveillance and tracking equipment, dedicated airspace and regulatory approvals for UAS FTR operations.

QinetiQ Australia Managing Director Greg Barsby said, “The Queensland Government has a vision to be a world leader in UAS technologies and QinetiQ is proud to support this through the creation of the flight test range facility at Cloncurry.”

“Together with our partners, QinetiQ manages some of the world’s most advanced range facilities across the land, maritime and aerospace domains. By drawing on our global experience, QinetiQ and our partners will deliver this facility, the largest of its kind in the region.

“The QinetiQ team is looking forward to working with the Queensland Government, Cloncurry Shire Council and regional SMEs to develop this facility. It will be a critical component in the overall drone ecosystem, as an enabler and connector of high-technology UAS programs and initiatives.”

The initial capability offered by the facility will support all weight classes of UAS for routine flying operations, demonstration activities and test and evaluation trials of moderate complexity. Future phases of development will support the full range of ground and flight test activity, providing an Australian home for the conduct of highly complex developmental test programs.

Queensland Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation Kate Jones said the project will provide a key missing element for UAS research and development. “The Queensland Government was the first in Australia to launch a drone strategy, and now we’re well on the way to becoming the nation’s drone technology capital.”

Ms Jones said QinetiQ, a leading science, engineering and defence technology company has been appointed to manage the construction of the facility which is expected to be finished later this year.

This contract award reinforces QinetiQ’s position as the leading expert and partner for the development and management of mission critical test and evaluation ranges.



Notes for Editors:

About QinetiQ

QinetiQ (QQ.L) is a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defence, security and critical infrastructure markets. We work in partnership with our customers to solve real world problems through innovative solutions delivering operational and competitive advantage.

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