PhD Theses

A SpaceWire Routing Switch for On-Board Spacecraft Communications

Thesis Author: 
Chris McClements

Chris McClements PhD research describes the work leading to a radiation tolerant SpaceWire routing switch chip for use in a SpaceWire data-handling network. A SpaceWire routing switch has applications for current and future high-speed payload data-handling systems where the SpaceWire standard and SpaceWire networks have been identified as the preferred method of connecting many SpaceWire nodes together.

Dr McClements is now a research assistant with the Space Technology Centre working on digital electronic designs for SpaceCraft systems.

Improving End-to-End Communication over SpaceWire for Applications Onboard Satellites

Thesis Author: 
Stuart Mills

Stuart Mills' PhD research included considering the use of existing protocols and the development of a new protocol to provide reliability over SpaceWire. As part of this research Stuart developed device drivers for both Windows and Linux to provide methods for PCs to communicate over SpaceWire.

Stuart's research has provided the basis on which the drivers for the SpaceWire device drivers developed in the Space Technology Centre are built. His research has also influenced the decisions now being taken in the development of protocols to provide quality of service over SpaceWire.

Stuart is now a research assistant in the School of Computing, University of Dundee and a Senior Software Engineer for STAR-Dundee.

Modelling Techniques to Improve the Learning & Teaching of Object-oriented Design

Thesis Author: 
Janet Hughes

Janet Hughes' PHD research investigated the object-oriented software design process, focusing on the difficulties experienced by novice software developers and the techniques or support systems which could be used to assist them in developing their skills and expertise.

Janet is now Head of Teaching in the School of Computing, University of Dundee.

Simulating Martian Geomorphology

Thesis Author: 
David Matthews

David Matthews was funded primarily by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to research the simulation of planetary surface features with a particular emphasis on those features found on Mars. His PhD research concentrated on Martian sand dune simulation.

Use of Kalman Filtering to Assist Vision Based Planetary Lander Navigation

Thesis Author: 
Victor Silva

Victor Silva’s PhD researched the fusion of data from guidance and navigation control sensors to support vision-based navigation for planetary landers. He focused on the use of Kalman filters for this purpose. Victor was funded for his PhD by the Portuguese Government which he was awarded in 2004. Victor is currently working at NASA JPL having won a Marie Curie Outgoing Fellowship to continue his research. Victor will work for two years at NASA JPL followed by a year back at University of Dundee. He is currently researching the use of various types of Kalman filter for use with vision guided planetary landers in the team that developed vision systems for Spirit and Opportunity.

Victor is now a Marie Curie Research Fellow and has recently returned to the University of Dundee after two years working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Virtual Planetary Surfaces for Testing Vision Guided Planetary Landers

Thesis Author: 
Iain Martin

Iain Martin’s PhD research was very important in the development of the PANGU tool. Iain’s work showed that it was possible to generate realistic planet surface using a combination of idealised mathematical models and fractal techniques. The mathematical models were based on information from planetary science research so gave craters, for example, the correct form according to age and the conditions under which they were created. The fractal techniques were developed to transform an ideal smooth crater bowl into a rugged, realistic terrain model of a crater. Furthermore Iain developed techniques for making craters on top or next to other craters appear realistic.

Iain is now a lecturer in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee.