University of Glasgow, School of Engineering

The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 and is one of the world’s top 100 universities. Alumni or former staff of the University include the philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, and two British Prime Ministers. Our research continues to be world leading, with a major announcement of our role in the direct detection of gravitational waves having been made in the past few days.

The role of the UoG in the project will be the mainly in two areas:

  • Ultrasonic action: In order to penetrate the terrain, ultrasonic vibration may be used to reduce frontal drag forces, compact spoil, or quasi-liquefy the surrounding granular material. Ultrasonic percussion can even be used to penetrate rock, if correctly applied. This can help with both forward drilling and worm-style propulsion techniques.
  • Inverse simulation: In order to develop control and guidance algorithms for the underground robot it will be necessary to construct a mathematical model of the system at an early stage in the project. A key contribution of the Glasgow team will be to develop this simulation model which will assist in the development of control and guidance systems for the robot. The Glasgow team will also apply the model to an inverse simulation allowing control and guidance strategies to be evaluated before implementation.

Relative Expertise

  • The University of Glasgow has one of the UK’s leading ultrasonic research groups, with power ultrasonics and the interaction between vibration and soil materials being a particular interest.
  • Glasgow is also recognised as a leading exponent of the development of inverse simulation techniques and their applications. We have a broad experience of dynamic modelling, including ultrasonic-percussive drills as well as underwater vehicles and biomemetic systems, which is complimented by significant capability in design, manufacture and testing of hardware systems.
  • Finally, the University of Glasgow has a dedicated EU project management team.

Relevant Projects

  • Improved Inverse Simulation Using Nonlinear Predictive Methods (collaboration with University of Strathclyde). U.K. Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council. 2003 – 2007. Total Value: £377k.
  • Ultrasonic Planetary Core Drill (collaboration with Lidax Ingenieria, Space Systems Finland, Magna Parva Ltd., European Commission, 2014 – 2016. Total Value: £1.83m.