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Personal profile

Research interests

My research uses animal tracking technology and wind modelling to analyse the flight strategies of urban nesting gulls. These flight strategies can be used to create path planning algorithms for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) flying in an urban landscape. Cityscapes create complex air flows; UAVs are susceptible to gusts and turbulence, this limits the flight performance in urban environments. Furthermore, the range and endurance that UAVs can achieve is dependant on the energy stored on board which is weight limited. On the other hand, birds are able to seamlessly navigate complex flows, avoid turbulent areas and use updrafts and thermals to soar. By understanding the flight strategies that birds use I hope to solve the two pitfalls in UAV technology; creating a path planning algorithm that can avoid the turbulent terrain and reduce the energy cost of flight through wind harvesting.

My current research uses GPS tags from the University of Amsterdam to track urban nesting lesser black-backed (Larus. fuscus) from Bristol. 

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Research Output

  • 2 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 1 Conference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Bird-inspired Velocity Optimization for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the Urban Environment

Williamson, C., Spelt, A. & Windsor, S. P., 5 Jan 2020, AIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition 2020. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA), 19 p. AIAA 2020-1948

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Open Access
File
  • 105 Downloads (Pure)

    Habitat use of urban-nesting lesser black-backed gulls during the breeding season

    Spelt, A., Williamson, C., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Shepard, E. L. C., Rock, P. & Windsor, S., 19 Jul 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, 11 p., 10527.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
    File
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    123 Downloads (Pure)

    Fine scale flight strategies of gulls in urban airflows indicate risk and reward in city living

    Shepard, E. L. C., Williamson, C. & Windsor, S., 26 Sep 2016, In : Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences. 371, 1704, 7 p., 20150394.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    File
  • 22 Citations (Scopus)
    296 Downloads (Pure)