I joined the Flight Group in 2012, working with Graham Taylor and Richard Bomphrey (at RVC) on insect flow and load sensing and their application to the control of unmanned air systems (UAS, drones). The bulk of my research has focussed on the ~400 flow sensing hairs distributed on the heads of locusts. The hairs are innervated, and create a neuron spikes when stimulated by airflow. The response (number of spikes) is a function of both airflow direction and speed, and is used by the locust to control its flight. The project has involved a range of techniques to study the form of these sense organs and their exact role in flight control, including: computational fluid dynamics simulations of airflow over a locust head, microCT (computed tomography) scans of the head and hairs, 6-DOF force measurements of locust flight and subsequent stability and control analysis. This research informs on principles of design and integration of novel flow sensing systems for use in the control systems of manmade aircraft.
I have a great interest in UAS and am a flier and builder of several drone platforms. My particular areas of interest are FPV flying, Linux autopilots, sense-and-avoid technology, and visually-guided autonomy.