School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Featured Projects

Investigating perturbation electric fields and their effects on the coupled low-, mid- and high-latitude ionosphere

2014-2015: USD25k from AOARD

Our major goal is to investigate the development of two significant ionospheric features, the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA) and Storm-Enhanced Density (SED), during superstorms in the American and Australian longitude sectors. By studying these features’ underlying plasma drifts/flows and temperatures plus the geophysical characteristics of these very different longitude sectors, we will identify some longitude-dependent characteristics. We also aim to investigate the ionospheric impact on GPS signal and to assess the performance of current models. To succeed, we will use our innovative techniques and tailor-made software packages. With the successful completion of this project, we will gain a better understanding of the ionospheric features of EIA and SED. Results will contribute to various international space research programs (e.g. NASA’s Living With a Star Program, US National Science Foundation’s National Space Weather Program, US Air Force Space Science Program), since the ionosphere and overlying plasmasphere is the operating environment of GPS, and space weather makes satellite communications and navigation systems such as GPS vulnerable. Furthermore, superstorms significantly impact and affect Air Force systems operating in and through space, and create space-weather hazards for communications and surveillance operations. Moreover, a highly disturbed ionosphere can disrupt the detection and tracking of aircraft and missiles, satellites and other targets.

Investigating repeatable ionospheric features during large storms and superstorms

2013-2014: USD20k from AOARD

This project aims to research the ionosphere during superstorms and how superstorms impact GPS signals. Our major goal is to investigate the development of two significant and regularly occurring ionospheric features, the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA) and Storm-Enhanced Density (SED), in the American and Australian longitude sectors. By studying these ionospheric features’ underlying plasma environment and the geophysical characteristics of these geophysically very different longitude sectors, we will be able to identify some specific EIA and SED characteristics. We also aim to investigate how plasma density irregularities degrade GPS signals. CTIP (Coupled Thermosphere-Ionosphere Plasmasphere) Model simulations will help explain some storm-time variations, as the CTIP Model is also an excellent tool providing a better understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms. Outcomes of this scientifically important project will contribute to the unraveling of some significant scientific problems, and to the better understanding of the association between the low-latitude processes and the mid-latitude ionosphere.

Advanced Surveillance for Critical Infrastructure Protection

2009-2011: $1 million from Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Intelligent Video Surveillance using CCTV is a necessary tool for agencies to ensure public safety and protect critical infrastructure. Commercial ports, Railway stations and other critical infrastructure around Australia are at constant risk from security incidents that can put the public at risk and halt operations. The key objective in this project is to apply, develop, and deploy advanced technologies for real-time video analysis and presentation to actively identify and track people and vehicles (including small boats). Furthermore, 3D video analysis from calibrated cameras will be used for incident detection and anomalous behaviour identification.

This project seeks to

  • develop a framework for powerful, cost-effective, and manageable port and rail security using advanced video analytics
  • assist in the monitoring the 100km maritime channel from Mooloolaba to Brisbane
  • research enhanced maritime security using remote biometrics via CCTV and other sensors
  • perform long-term trials of advanced surveillance technology in the field
  • trial commercial numberplate recognition over IP camera feeds
  • determine real world performance of face in the crowd recognition
  • software in a rail environment by surveilling the travelling public and then deploy system at port for transport security application
  • demonstrate an integrated approach to security by incorporating a wide range of commercial and research solutions for world-class command, control, situational awareness, and management of port security

The Advanced Surveillance Group has received significant interest in this proposed work from State and Federal agencies including the Dept of the Attorney General, CrimTrac, Queensland Police Service, and Emergency Services. Queensland Transport, Port of Brisbane Authority, and Queensland Rail are major government partners and will be heavily involved in this project.

Intelligent CCTV for Proactive Security

2006-2008: $664k from Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Video surveillance systems have attracted worldwide attention since they were used to such great effect to track the movements of the four suicide bombers in the days before their attack on the London Underground in July 2005. Despite their usefulness, most current surveillance systems only provide reactive security by enabling the analysis of activities after the terrorist attack has already occurred. What is needed is proactive security to help prevent future attacks.

Intelligent Closed Circuit TV (ICCTV) systems use powerful computers to analyse the video feeds to assist human operators to detect events of interest as they occur. An example might be recognising the face of a suspected terrorist in a crowded railway station. In this project, researchers plan to run long term trials of advanced ICCTV technologies in important and sensitive public spaces such as major ports and railway stations, so that operational and capability deficiencies in current ICCTV systems can be addressed.

The field trial component of the proposal in conjunction with established vendors, will ensure that the ICCTV research is focused on operational and real-world deployment issues in the Australian context. The research component aims to improve the counter-terrorism capabilities and sensitivities of ICCTV systems whilst reducing the false alarm rate.

This project was funded by the National Security Science and Technology Unit of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.


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