Algorithms for Pointing and Target Following Airborne Hyperspectral Sensor

Location: Castle Hill, NSW

Duration: 4 months

Proposed start date: ASAP

Keywords: 3-D geometry, MATLAB, Simulink, Python, Geomatics, Optimisation

Please note: Due to funding requirements, students must have Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will be ineligible for this project.

Project Background

HyVista Corporation Pty Ltd ( is a Sydney-based SME company that offers airborne hyperspectral imaging surveys and value-added processing for world-wide clients.

The company and its sister company, IntSpec Systems, also develops spectral sensing systems including airborne and UAV-borne hyperspectral imagers.

The company is currently involved in a project that is part of the HASS (High Altitude Sensor Systems) program at DMTC ( The project involves developing a UAV-borne compact hyperspectral sensor that can be pointed at regions of interest and acquire hyperspectral images.

Partners in the project (C-SASS : compact, spatially agile spectral sensor) are the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).  These partners will develop real time processing and classification of the imagery acquired by the hyperspectral sensors.

To implement the requirements of the C-SASS project and develop commercial viable products in this area, the company requires a PhD intern with expertise in 3-D geometry/kinematics, geomatics and software development.

Research to be Conducted

There is a requirement to develop a mathematical formulation of the sensor viewing and pointing geometry and algorithms for real time ortho-rectification of the imagery. The mathematical description of the sensor image stabilisation and pointing will be used, in the first instance, to conduct error analyses to assist in design and component optimisation.

Further, the mathematical formulation will be used to design and control stabilisation and pointing hardware to be used in flight.

There are several publications that provide the first level of mathematical description but are not fully developed for the application described here. The task before the PhD intern will be to develop and optimise the complete mathematical description of the sensor pointing geometry. Then this mathematical description is to be incorporated in an algorithm that can be implemented in the real time, in-flight control of the sensor’s stabilisation and pointing.

The algorithms also need to be such that error analyses can be conducted taking into account the errors associated with GPS, inertial monitoring units, mechanical servo-control systems and various airborne platform flight characteristics (including random turbulence).

The PhD intern will work closely with opto-mechanical engineers who are developing the pointing / stabilisation hardware.

Skills Required

We are looking for a PhD student with the following skills:

  • Knowledge of 3-D geometry
  • Familiarity with geomatics
  • Ability to generate code in MATLAB & Simulink (or similar), Python etc

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes from the work of the PhD intern are:

  • a complete and documented mathematical description of the system’s 3-D geometry
  • identification of optimisation options
  • computer code to simulate the geometry for error analysis
  • development of computer code to conduct near-real time geo-rectification of the imagery

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

To participate in the APR.Intern program, all applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be a PhD student currently enrolled at an Australian university
  • PhD candidature must be confirmed
  • Applicants must have the written approval of their Principal Supervisor to undertake the internship. This approval must be submitted at the time of application.

Internships are also subject to any requirements stipulated by the student’s and the academic mentor’s university

Applications Close

3 October 2018


INT – 0458


03 8344 1785