Professor Rodney Walker
This person does not currently hold a position at QUT.
BiographyBroad area of research: Smart Systems
Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation
Since 1999, Professor Rodney Walker has worked with QUT and external partners to create the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) which now has over 30 staff members. In the last 5 years he has attracted over $20M of research projects, including $6M funding to build ARCAA's dedicated research centre at Brisbane International Airport. Professor Walker currently holds the position of Director within ARCAA.
ARCAA personnel work hard to maintain strong links with industry and to ensure that the outcomes of ARCAA research lead to commercial outcomes, meeting commercial development timelines where necessary.
ARCAA conducts leading edge research into all aspects of aviation technologies, their development and integration into the National Airspace System (NAS). ARCAA's current focus is on addressing those issues facing the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the NAS.
Research is currently grouped into three high level themes:
- Systems Design and Optimisation
- Sensors and Advanced Flight Systems
- Systems Integration, Regulation and Operation
ARCAA's current active projects are:
- Smart Skies
- Airservices Australia and GPSatSystems ARC Linkage
Main research areas
Within the broad field of avionics research, Professor Rodney Walker and his research team have defined three main research areas:
- Satellite Navigation
- Systems Engineering
Over the years, satellite navigation has gradually become an indispensable tool. Nowadays, major synergies lie in developing potential applications and improving efficiency of existing systems with a navigation capability, or navigation terminals with wireless communications capabilities. Professor Rodney Walker and his research team are undertaking a series of activities to support the exploitation of such synergies for the benefit of both military and civilian applications through the provision of new and upgraded services from space.
Their focus is on researching:
- Advanced satellite tracking techniques
- High Performance Satellite Computing Systems
- Disaster Detection and Monitoring Systems
- Satellite Autonomous Navigation Systems
New technological development in the field of avionics has opened new avenues for potential applications and developments. It could serve as a new tool to support research, track human and mammal movements, patrol borders, monitor disaster scenarios, take on risky assignments in a battlefield, and revolutionise air travel making it safer and faster. Professor Rodney Walker and his research team are working to improve the safety and reliability of potential applications of new technology in avionics for navigation, guidance, communication, and control.
Professor Rodney Walker and his research team have extensive expertise in studying and improving the systems that support the avionics landing and navigation operations. Especially, their research is focused on studying:
- Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) navigation and control
- Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) applications
- Advanced avionics payloads
The need for systems engineering arose with the increase in complexity of systems and projects. Some of the challenges are complexity, human organizations, size, amount of data, variables, the number of fields etc. System engineering involves development and organization of complex systems to improve the management of risk, product configuration and technology insertion for the development of innovative products. Professor Rodney Walker and his research team have a well established activity covering many years research in the field of system engineering in uncertain and complex control systems and for their potential applications such as flight control, satellite attitude control etc.
His research is focusing on:
- Human Factors Integration
- Data and Information Fusion
GrantsWithin the broad field of avionics research, Professor Rodney Walker and his research team has been granted funds to conduct following research projects:
- Decision-Making and Route Planning Strategies for Collision Avoidance Systems on UAV's
- Human Detection in a Maritime Search Environment Using Machine Vision for UAV's
- Development of a High Integrity Airborne Navigation Sensor for Aviation Communities Using Terrestrial Based Infrastructure
- Aircraft Sense and Avoid Using Computer Vision
Future Space Project Study
- GPS Walker
- Future of Civil UAVs
- Future of UAVs
- UAV Collision Avoidance System
- Investigation of Future Australian ATM Strategies
Career HistoryAug 2007-Present: Professor, School of Engineering Systems, Queensland University of TechnologyAug 2006-Aug 2007: Associate Professor, School of Engineering Systems, Queensland University of Technology
2003-2006: Senior Lecturer, School of Electrical and Electronic Systems, Queensland University of Technology
1999-2003: Lecturer, School of Electrical and Electronic Systems, School of Electrical and Electronic Systems, Queensland University of Technology
Apr 1998-Sep 1999: GPS Payload Manager for the FedSat small satellite mission
Apr 1996-Apr 1998: Research Engineering, Space Centre for Satellite Navigation, Queensland University of Technology
Sep 1995-Mar 1996: Visiting Scientist, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK
Jul 1993-Jun 1994: Research Engineer, Voxon International, Pinkenba, Queensland
Nov 1991-Feb 1992: Junior Engineer, Telecom Australia, Roma Street, Queensland
Aerospace, Aircraft crash investigations, FedSat, Flight control systems, GNSS Global Positioning System (GPS), General aviation, Satellite navigation, Small satellite programs, Systems engineering, Unmanned aircraft (UAV)
Aerospace Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008
- PhD (Queensland University of Technology)
Professional memberships and associations
- Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Australia
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
- Institute of Navigation
Professor Rodney Walker teaches in the following areas
- Introduction to Systems Design
- Systems Projects
He is also a discipline team leader for:
- Systems Engineering (which includes aerospace avionics, aerodynamics and thermodynamics).
Within the broad field of avionics research, Professor Rodney Walker and his research team have strong collaborations with:
- Brisbane Airport
- Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
- Department of Education, Science and Training (Australia)
- Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems
- Department of Defence (Commonwealth)
- Australian Research Council (ARC)
- AirServices Australia
- GPSat Systems Australia Pvt. Ltd
Professor Rodney Walker has consulted extensively to the mining and aerospace industries over a 15 year period. Clients have included major organisations such as Rio Tinto, Boeing Phantomworks USA, Defence Science and Technology Organisation and Airservices Australia.
His consulting reports have provided recommendations that have generally been adopted by the relevant industry partner. For example recent recommendations for safe operating practices for Unmanned Aerial Systems were adopted by the Australian Defence trials in the North West Shelf.