Associate Professor Peter Gibbens

BE (Aero), PhD (Newcastle, NSW), MAIAA
Director Learning and teaching
School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

J11 - Aeronautical Engineering Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 7350
Fax +61 2 9351 7060

Website School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

Advanced Flight Systems Research

Research interests

Pilotless aircraft are increasingly being used in non-military applications, including agriculture and environmental management. Currently their navigation systems, like those of piloted aircraft, rely heavily on GPS. But if GPS signals are lost or jammed, an aircraft can quickly get lost or out of control. Associate Professor Peter Gibbens is working to address this issue by developing automated navigation techniques that replicate those of human pilots.

"I believe that human behaviours have naturally evolved to be efficient for the tasks we have been doing throughout history, and this is what motivates my research in the development of automation techniques that mimic human behaviour.

"As a pilot myself, it has always seemed logical to me that the automation of flight operations should follow the conventional human methods of aircraft control and navigating, but currently this is not the case.

"For example, it is normal for a human pilot to correct navigational drift by cross-referencing visual features they see in the landscape with those shown on a map - but this is not a technique currently used by automated navigation systems.

"Similarly, when driving a car around a bend, a human driver does not focus on keeping the vehicle within the lane lines immediately adjacent to the car; instead we keep our eyes on the road ahead and mentally predict where the vehicle will be some metres ahead of our current position, taking pre-emptive action (steering) to ensure that the car will be centred in the lane when it gets to that predicted position. Again, this technique - known as predictive control - is not widely used in automated systems.

"By using cameras and other sensors to incorporate techniques such as these into the control and navigation systems of automated aerial vehicles, I aim to improve their precision, reliability and safety.

"I've been working in control research since 1988 and in navigation and avionics since 1999. Being with the University of Sydney has allowed me the freedom to steer my research in innovative directions that I see benefiting the aerospace sector within the next 10 to 20 years."

Teaching and supervision

AERO3560 - Flight Mechanics 1

AERO4560 - Flight Mechanics 2

AERO5500 - Flight Mechanics Test and Evaluation Adv

AERO5510 - Foundations of Flight Mechanics

AERO5520 - Aircraft Avionics and Systems

Current projects

Associations

Member, American Institue of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Selected grants

2001

  • Robust Simultaneous Localisation and Map building for Mobile Robots in Indoor environments; Nebot E, Dissanayake G, Gibbens P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Large Research Grants (LRG).
  • Key Centre for Field Robotics; Durrant-Whyte H, Dissanayake G, Gibbens P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Key Centres for Teaching and Research.

2000

  • An autonomous tail-sitter unmanned vehicle technology demonstrator for remote sensing applications; Gibbens P, Wong K, Stone R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Strategic Partnerships with Industry - Research and Training (SPIRT).

1999

  • Deed of Grant with Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB); Gibbens P; Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)/Project Support.
  • Decentralised navigation and control of an autonomous flight vehicle; Durrant-Whyte H, Nebot E, Gibbens P, Wong K; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Strategic Partnerships with Industry - Research and Training (SPIRT).

1998

  • 1999 SPIRT: Decentralised Navigation and Control of an Autonomous Flight Vehicle; Scheding S, Gibbens P.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Stone, R. (2006). Terminal Phase Vision-Based Target Recognition and 3D Pose Estimation for a Tail-Sitter, Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle. In Long-Wen Chang and Wen-Nung Lie (Eds.), Advances in Image and Video Technology, (pp. 672-681). Germany: Springer.

Journals

  • Lamburn, D., Gibbens, P., Dumble, S. (2014). Efficient constrained model predictive control. European Journal of Control, Article in Press.
  • Medagoda, E., Gibbens, P. (2014). Multiple Horizon Model Predictive Flight Control. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics: devoted to the technology of dynamics and control, 37(3), 946-951. [More Information]
  • Dumble, S., Gibbens, P. (2012). Horizon Profile Detection for Attitude Determination. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: theory and applications, 68(3-4), 339-357. [More Information]
  • Gibbens, P., Medagoda, E. (2011). Efficient Model Predictive Control Algorithm for Aircraft. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics: devoted to the technology of dynamics and control, 34(6), 1909-1915. [More Information]
  • Medagoda, E., Gibbens, P. (2010). Synthetic-Waypoint Guidance Algorithm for Following a Desired Flight Trajectory. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics: devoted to the technology of dynamics and control, 33(2), 601-606. [More Information]
  • Stone, R., Anderson, P., Hutchison, C., Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Wong, K. (2008). Flight Testing of the T-Wing Tail-Sitter Unmanned Air Vehicle. Journal of Aircraft: devoted to aeronautical science and technology, 45(2), 673-685.

Conferences

  • Verstraete, D., Gibbens, P., Wong, K. (2011). Is a small UAV with extended altitude capabilities feasible? AIAC-14 Fourteenth Australian International Aerospace Congress APISAT 2011, Melbourne, Australia: WALDRONSMITHManagement.
  • Gibbens, P., Verstraete, D. (2011). Learning aircraft design and flight control system design using flight simulation as a CDIO conduit. 7th International CDIO Conference 2011, Denmark: Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU).
  • Medagoda, E., Gibbens, P. (2010). Efficient Predictive Flight Control. International Conference on Control, Automation and Systems 2010 (ICCAS 2010), Gyeonggi-do, Korea: International Conference on Control, Automation and Systems.
  • Gibbens, P., Medagoda, E., Dumble, S. (2009). Enhancement of Learning in Aircraft Handling Qualities Through Variable Stability Flight Simulation. 20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2009), Adelaide: School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide.
  • Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Stone, R. (2007). Terminal Phase Visual Position Estimation for a Tail-Sitting Vertical Takeoff and Landing UAV via a Kalman Filter. Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XXV: Algorithms, Techniques, and Active Vision, Bellingham, Washington: SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering.
  • Stone, R., Anderson, P., Hutchison, C., Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Roberts, J., Wong, K. (2007). Vertical Flight Testing and Parameter Identification for the T-Wing UAV. Twelfth Australian International Aerospace Congress (AIAC-12), Melbourne, Australia: Bristol UAV Conferences.
  • Rickard, N., Gibbens, P. (2006). Variable Stability Simulator for the Experiential Education of Flight Dynamic Principles. SimTect 2006, Melbourne, Australia: Simulation Industry Association of Australia.
  • Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Stone, R. (2006). Visual Position Estimation for Automatic Landing of a Tail-Sitter Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle. 13th International Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice (M2VIP 2006). DLSU-Manila.

2014

  • Lamburn, D., Gibbens, P., Dumble, S. (2014). Efficient constrained model predictive control. European Journal of Control, Article in Press.
  • Medagoda, E., Gibbens, P. (2014). Multiple Horizon Model Predictive Flight Control. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics: devoted to the technology of dynamics and control, 37(3), 946-951. [More Information]

2012

  • Dumble, S., Gibbens, P. (2012). Horizon Profile Detection for Attitude Determination. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: theory and applications, 68(3-4), 339-357. [More Information]

2011

  • Gibbens, P., Medagoda, E. (2011). Efficient Model Predictive Control Algorithm for Aircraft. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics: devoted to the technology of dynamics and control, 34(6), 1909-1915. [More Information]
  • Verstraete, D., Gibbens, P., Wong, K. (2011). Is a small UAV with extended altitude capabilities feasible? AIAC-14 Fourteenth Australian International Aerospace Congress APISAT 2011, Melbourne, Australia: WALDRONSMITHManagement.
  • Gibbens, P., Verstraete, D. (2011). Learning aircraft design and flight control system design using flight simulation as a CDIO conduit. 7th International CDIO Conference 2011, Denmark: Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU).

2010

  • Medagoda, E., Gibbens, P. (2010). Efficient Predictive Flight Control. International Conference on Control, Automation and Systems 2010 (ICCAS 2010), Gyeonggi-do, Korea: International Conference on Control, Automation and Systems.
  • Medagoda, E., Gibbens, P. (2010). Synthetic-Waypoint Guidance Algorithm for Following a Desired Flight Trajectory. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics: devoted to the technology of dynamics and control, 33(2), 601-606. [More Information]

2009

  • Gibbens, P., Medagoda, E., Dumble, S. (2009). Enhancement of Learning in Aircraft Handling Qualities Through Variable Stability Flight Simulation. 20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2009), Adelaide: School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide.

2008

  • Stone, R., Anderson, P., Hutchison, C., Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Wong, K. (2008). Flight Testing of the T-Wing Tail-Sitter Unmanned Air Vehicle. Journal of Aircraft: devoted to aeronautical science and technology, 45(2), 673-685.

2007

  • Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Stone, R. (2007). Terminal Phase Visual Position Estimation for a Tail-Sitting Vertical Takeoff and Landing UAV via a Kalman Filter. Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XXV: Algorithms, Techniques, and Active Vision, Bellingham, Washington: SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering.
  • Stone, R., Anderson, P., Hutchison, C., Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Roberts, J., Wong, K. (2007). Vertical Flight Testing and Parameter Identification for the T-Wing UAV. Twelfth Australian International Aerospace Congress (AIAC-12), Melbourne, Australia: Bristol UAV Conferences.

2006

  • Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Stone, R. (2006). Terminal Phase Vision-Based Target Recognition and 3D Pose Estimation for a Tail-Sitter, Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle. In Long-Wen Chang and Wen-Nung Lie (Eds.), Advances in Image and Video Technology, (pp. 672-681). Germany: Springer.
  • Rickard, N., Gibbens, P. (2006). Variable Stability Simulator for the Experiential Education of Flight Dynamic Principles. SimTect 2006, Melbourne, Australia: Simulation Industry Association of Australia.
  • Tsai, A., Gibbens, P., Stone, R. (2006). Visual Position Estimation for Automatic Landing of a Tail-Sitter Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle. 13th International Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice (M2VIP 2006). DLSU-Manila.

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