Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dr. Duncan Robertson

Research interests:

Millimetre wave radar system development for applications in security and remote sensing.
Volcano mapping using millimetre wave radar.
Glacier mapping with millimetre wave radar.
Rainfall monitoring and cloud profiling using millimetre wave radar.
Wave mapping, sea clutter measurement and marine situational awareness using millimetre wave radar.

Career history:

1994 – 1999 Research Fellow, Millimetre Wave Group, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St Andrews
1999 – 2000 Principal Microwave Engineer, Racal-MESL Ltd.
2000 – 2004 Research Fellow, Photonics Innovation Centre, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St Andrews
2004 – 2014 Research Fellow, Millimetre Wave & EPR Group, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St Andrews
2014 – present Senior Research Fellow, Millimetre Wave & EPR Group, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St Andrews

Active research projects:

"CONSORTIS (Concealed Object Stand-Off Real-Time Imaging for Security)", European Commission, £568,307, 1/01/14 → 31/12/17
The CONSORTIS project is developing next generation airport security screening technology. We are combining a multi-channel submillimetre wave radar and a dual-band passive submillimetre wave camera, together with automatic anomaly detection software, to deliver high throughput screening with improved detection performance and low false alarm rate.

"Effective and Affordable Detection and Small UAVs using millimetre wave coherent Doppler Radar", Science & Technology Facilities Council, £217,585, 1/06/16 → 31/05/18
This project is developing a low-cost, compact radar sensor for detecting small UAVS, or drones, which present a growing security threat. The radar addresses a current gap in the market and exploits the high sensitivity of millimetre wave radar to detecting the micro-Doppler signatures caused by the drone’s propellers.

"Improving flash flood prediction on Montserrat using high resolution radar mapping of rainfall", EPSRC, £23,964, 1/12/17 → 31/03/18
This project extends the capability of our AVTIS-3 radar deployed on Montserrat to include a high resolution rainfall mapping mode. This additional capability will give Montserrat Volcano Observatory advance warning of flash floods and lahar (mud flow) hazards.

"Radar Monitoring of Environment Hazards in Montserrat", EPSRC, £36,111, 1/07/16 → 31/10/17
Building on our 15 year track record of volcano mapping using millimetre wave radar, this project has enabled the upgrading and refurbishment of the AVTIS-3 radar installation which has been deployed on Montserrat since 2011. This has allowed the radar to be integrated into the suite of operational instruments used by Montserrat Volcano Observatory to monitor the Soufriere Hills Volcano.

Recent publications:

The following are the 5 most recent publications relating to SAGES topics (I have many more radar and technology papers which are not relevant here, e.g. see CV).

Wadge, G., Macfarlane, D., Odbert, H., Stinton, A., Robertson, D., James, M., Pinkerton, H., “AVTIS observations of lava dome growth at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat: 2004-2011”, 4/09/2014 In: The eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. London : Geological Society of London p. 229-240.

Macfarlane, D.G., Odbert, H.M., Robertson, D.A., James, M.R., Pinkerton, H. & Wadge, G., “Topographic and thermal mapping of volcanic terrain using the AVTIS ground based 94GHz dual-mode radar/radiometric imager”, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Rem. Sens., 51, (1), 2013, pp. 455 – 472.

Wadge, G., Macfarlane, D.G., Odbert, H.M., James, M.R., Hole, J.K., Ryan, G., Bass, V., De Angelis, S., Pinkerton, H., Robertson, D.A. & Loughlin, S.C., “Lava dome growth and mass wasting measured by a time series of ground-based radar and seismicity observations”, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, 113, B08210, doi:10.1029/2007JB005466, 2008.

Wadge, G., Macfarlane, D.G., Robertson, D.A., Hale, A.J., Pinkerton, H., Burrell, R.V., Norton, G.E. & James, M.R., “AVTIS: a novel millimetre-wave ground based instrument for volcano remote sensing”, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 146, 2005, pp. 307-318.

Macfarlane, D.G., Wadge, G., Robertson, D.A., James M.R. & Pinkerton, H., “Use of a portable topographic mapping millimetre wave radar at an active lava flow.”, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L03301, doi:10.1029/2005GL025005.

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