I am a Postgraduate Research (PhD) student within the School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Liverpool. There I am part of Prof. Simon Maskell’s research team, which is currently comprised of a total of 11 members (PhDs and Post-Docs) with a variety of goals and interests, all evolving around the applications of Bayesian Inference and Statistics to the solution of modern problems (i.e. Risk and Uncertainty, Target State Estimators, Big Data etc).
With the help of my academic supervisor, Simon Maskell, I have been able to secure a studentship co-funded by EPSRC and Denbridge Marine Ltd, via an iCASE award kindly provided by the Industrial Mathematics Knowledge Transfer Network. The title of the proposed topic is “Co-development of Mathematical Models and Monte-Carlo Algorithms for Improved Detection of Targets in the Commercial Maritime Domain” and the relevant industrial supervisor from Denbridge Marine is Dr. Simon Lee. As the name suggest, the project shall focus on the development of mathematical models, which shall be used to accurately reflect the effects of sea clutter on sensor measurements (i.e. radars and cameras) and consequently the utilisation of such models within non-linear non-Gaussian state space estimators (i.e. Particle Filters) to perform multi-target tracking of vessels in busy environments. Recent work by Prof. Maskell suggest that utilising the ability of Particle Filters to fully exploit non-linear dynamic models can typically provide a 6dB improvement in detection performance for legacy radars. Since sea clutter, the main source of noise for maritime environments, is well-known to exhibit non-Gaussian statistics, use of non-linear dynamic models becomes paramount. This suggests that it is possible to take full advantage of the benefits offered by Particle Filtering methods, in order to achieve enhanced performance of up to 400% given a fixed sensor deployment. Fingers crossed and in 3 years time we should all have a definitive answer to these suspitions!