Maths model the key to aerial detection system

QUT researchers have used a complex maths model to develop an algorithm that enables unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to replicate a human pilot’s ability to visually detect aircraft at a range of more than 2km.

QUT Centre for Data Science member Professor Jason Ford, who was awarded the inaugural Australian Defence Industry Award of Academic of the Year in 2019, said developing the visual detection system had tackled the key barrier to fully achieving the global commercial market of unmanned aerial vehicles.

“We’ve been working on this problem for 10 years and over that time 50 people or more have been involved in this project,” Professor Ford said.

“We are leading the world in solving the extremely challenging problem of replicating the role of a pilot’s eye.

“Imagine you’re observing something from a cockpit and it’s hidden against the clouds. If you watch it over a period of time, you build up confidence something is there.

“The algorithm does the same.”

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