PhD Opportunities

The Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) builds on the established UNSW strengths of Satellite systems, satellite navigation, earth observation and hypersonics. In these areas, the Centre works closely with and acts as a bridge between the Schools of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering and UNSW Canberra.

Before making an enquiry, we recommend you use the Online Self-Assessment Tool on the UNSW website to discern your eligibilty for graduate research study at UNSW:

For information on how to apply and resources for students seeking financial scholarships, please see the UNSW Graduate Research website.

For more information on any of our PhD topics, please email the supervisor directly, cc'ing and quoting the full PhD Title. 

Showing all phd topics

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Supervisor Name/s Resarch field/s
Resilient Multi-vehicle Positioning with Sensor Errors Prof Andrew Dempster, Dr Joon Wayn Cheong Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems

In the past decade, ACSER has established a strong heritage in multi-sensor integration for land navigation as evidenced by its numerous high quality journal publications in this domain of research. Triggered by recent developments in vehicular safety, driverless vehicles, etc., ACSER has...Read more

Advanced Signal Processing for GPS receivers Prof Andrew Dempster, Dr Joon Wayn Cheong Signal Processing

Where individual GPS L1 signals are too weak to be detected, conventional detection and navigation methods will not be able to yield sufficient pseudoranges to produce navigation solutions. In this scenario, Collective Detection, which combines individual GPS L1 signals projected from the signal...Read more

Ionosphere Sensing Using Saber Astronautics Tether Prof Andrew Dempster Satellite Systems

Industrial partner Saber Astronautics has developed a tether for cubesats, nominally as a way of de-orbiting the cubesat. However, this tether produces a current which can be used as a sensor of the ionosphere, helping measure the state of space weather. There are very few in-place sensors of...Read more

Single-Antenna GPS Attitude Prof Andrew Dempster Satellite Systems

GPS receivers have long used two antennas separated by a relatively long baseline to estimate attitude, i.e. “which way you’re facing”. There have been some, but not many, solutions to this problem that use only a single antenna. This project proposes to further investigate this problem, using a...Read more

Navigation Above the GPS Constellation Prof Andrew Dempster Navigation

ACSER is developing a range of satellite navigation receivers to operate in space. Most commonly, those receivers are used in low earth orbit, i.e. at heights of 100s of km, well below the 26000km high GPS satellites. This project looks at how satellites in higher orbits can use Global...Read more

Cubesat Positioning While Detumbling Prof Andrew Dempster, Dr Eamonn Glennon Satellite Systems

When a satellite is separated from its launch vehicle, it “tumbles”. It takes some time for this tumbling to be brought under control, and during that period it may be difficult to establish the satellite’s position. GPS, for instance, in general cannot be used because the receiver cannot...Read more

Deep Space Communications using Cubesats Prof Andrew Dempster Satellite Systems

Cubesats have become very popular recently, and many are already in low-earth orbit. Missions are beginning to be considered that are in higher orbits, or leave earth’s orbit all together. For missions such as these, communications will be a serious issue. Because of a cubesat’s small size, it...Read more

Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems Prof Andrew Dempster, Dr Joon Wayn Cheong Navigation

Driverless cars will be with us in the near future and so the infrastructure to support them must be developed urgently. Building on many years of ACSER/ SNAP/ UNSW work looking at how vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs) and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) can be used to provide...Read more

Positioning and navigating spacecraft near asteroids Prof Andrew Dempster Off Earth Mining

Companies recently established to mine asteroids propose an architecture where a constellation of spacecraft will be used to perform the exploration, mining and processing functions. Some craft will be flying “orbiting” the asteroid, while others will be on the asteroid surface. It is essential...Read more

Off-Earth Mining - call for topics Prof Andrew Dempster, A/Prof Serkan Saydam Off Earth Mining

Off-Earth Mining is an extremely diverse topic. The UNSW research initiative in this area encompasses academics from five faculties: Engineering (Electrical, Mining, Mechanical, Computing, Photovoltaics, Civil), Science, Law, Business and Arts & Humanities.

...Read more
Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Modelling using FPGAs Dr Sean O’Byrne, Dr Andrew Lambert Hypersonic Vehicles

Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Modelling using FPGAs The Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method is the most commonly used numerical method for computing rarefied flows, such as those experienced upon planetary entry of a spacecraft, or in very small-scale flows. Invented by Prof. Graham Bird...Read more

Rarefied Hypersonic Separated Flows Assoc. Prof Sudhir Gai Hypersonic Vehicles

This project will be of interest to those who wish to engage in Space Science, particularly hypersonic research. The selected candidate will work on an ARC funded project exploring "Flow Separation Phenomena" which are critical in the design of spacecraft when they enter /re-enter Earth or...Read more

Software Verification Environment for Cubesats Dr Joon Wayn Cheong Satellite Systems

Designing and implementing software for space is challenging. Not only does the software has to be able to cater for various scenarios, but the software also has to undergo an enormous amount of software verification before it can be allowed to be used in space....Read more

Sensor Fusion for Positioning Integrity in Safety-Critical Vehicular Applications Dr Joon Wayn Cheong Navigation, Signal Processing

Depending on GPS/GNSS without the capability of validating its accuracy and validity can produce catastrophic consequences. Current techniques to validate GNSS/GPS-based positioning are limited and produces a large confidence interval which would be inadequate for vehicular...Read more

GNSS signal interference detection and localisation Dr Joon Wayn Cheong Satellite Systems, Navigation, Signal Processing

ACSER have an active research topics on GNSS signal interference detection and localisation in collaboration with a local engineering company. We can also conduct real-life field experiments using multiple synchronised and calibrated phased array nodes. GNSS...Read more

MGSA: Mobile GNSS Situational Awareness Dr Joon Wayn Cheong Satellite Systems, Navigation

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) spoofing and meaconing is the act of deceiving nearby GNSS users of their true location by transmitting a stronger bogus signal. On the other hand, GNSS jamming is the act of denying nearby users from using GNSS to obtain positioning, navigation or...Read more

Base and Wake Flows of Planetary Craft A/Prof Sudhir Gai Space-based Systems

PendingRead more

High Level Synthesis of efficient triple-modular redundant FPGA-based systems A/prof Oliver Diessel Satellite Systems, Space-based Systems

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Dynamic modular reconfiguration of FPGA-based triple-modular redundant circuits A/prof Oliver Diessel Space-based Systems

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On-board machine learning for satellite sensors A/prof Oliver Diessel Satellite Systems, Space-based Systems

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Hypersonic Cavity Flows A/Prof Sudhir Gai Hypersonic Vehicles

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Surface Vessel Detection Using GPS-Reflectometry Dr Joon Wayn Cheong Satellite Systems, Earth Observation, Space-based Systems

Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), Electronic Warfare (EW), Space and Cyber” are the highest priority research and innovation streams for both the Defence Innovation Hub and the Next Generation Technology Fund in 2017/2018. High altitude sensor systems (HASS) represent an...Read more