Communications, Sensing and Imaging

The Communications, Sensing and Imaging (CSI) group at the University of Glasgow covers a wide range of both basic and applied research. We focus on first principles of engineering science with a goal to realise efficient and optimized wireless systems and components for communications, sensing and imaging applications. Our research has been funded by major research councils and funding bodies, including EU-Horizon 2020, EPSRC, CDE/DSTL and Innovate UK. Sensing and imaging systems research covers a wide range of activities in human micro-Doppler signature analysis and UAVs detection and classification. Significant activity employs the application of telecommunication signalling techniques in software-defined RADAR systems. Communication systems research covers the majority of physical and MAC layer of wireless communications and networking with particular focus on fifth generation (5G) communication technologies. Over the coming years, 5G development will support super-fast, ultra-reliable, ubiquitous communications across large numbers and types of devices, connecting people and machines in a way often referred to as the ‘Internet of Things’ and the ‘Internet of Skills’. However, 5G is still in its early developmental stage and has yet to adopt common standards. Our group conducts research on wide areas of 5G technology, ranging from:

  1. Antenna design and channel modelling
  2. Physical layer design and signal processing, new waveforms for 5G
  3. Radio resource allocation and MAC design
  4. Networking and joint design of RAN and backhaul
  5. Self Organisation of Cellular Networks
  6. Use of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analysis for Self Organisation
  7. Use cases of 5G technology (example areas include): Smart Transport, Smart Agriculture, Connected Health, Body area networks, Environment monitoring, Connected buildings.
Research topics

Multistatic radar systems
Radar systems for UAVs detection and classification
Software-defined RADAR systems
Wireless channel characterization and modeling
Physical layer of wireless/cellular communications
Energy and spectrum efficient cellular communications
Self organised networking (SON) for cellular systems
Vertical markets for wireless communications
Smart grid communications and control
Big-data-aware networks
Radiation detection and imaging instrumentation
Energy harvesting communications
Ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC)
Optical wireless communication (OWC) and its applications

Academic staff

Post doctoral researchers

PhD candidates

Qammer Abbasi Oluwakayode Onireti Graeme Turkington
Wasim Ahmad Yusuf Sambo Yingke Huang
Imran Ansari Huan Xu Siming Zuo
Shengrong Bu Zeeshan Asghar Adnan Zahid
Francesco Fioranelli Syed Aziz Shah Kaung Oo Htet
Kelum Gamage Abed Pour Sohrab Jinwei Zhao
Sajjad Hussain   Aman Shrestha
Muhammad Ali Imran   Haobo Li
Petros Karadimas   Jarez Patel
Julien Le Kernec   Paolo Klaine
Faisal Tariq   Selcuk Bassoy
Shufan Yang   Metin Ozturk
Lei Zhang   Joao Nadas
Guodong Zhao   Ali Rizwan
Keliang Zhou    Murdifi Bin Muhammad
    Tan Moh Chuan
    Shaowei Dai
    Bowen Yang
    Ruiyu Wang
    Yao Sun
    Fauzun Abdullah Asuhaimi


Multistatic radar systems

Francesco FioranelliJulien Le KernecShufan Yang

Multistatic radar systems with a network of multiple transmitter and receiver nodes separated by significant distances can provide substantial advantages over conventional monostatic systems, such as additional information on targets by exploiting multi-perspective views from different radar nodes, and more resilience for the overall system in case of problems or jamming at one of the nodes. There is currently a growing interest in the radar research community in multistatic systems, and it is expected that technological advances in the domain of signal processing, hardware miniaturisation, and increasing computational power can boost the development and application of these systems. Research applications include the analysis of human micro-Doppler signatures extracted from radar data for classification of different activities performed by people (walking, running, carrying objects, crawling, and so on), as well as for the recognition of particular individuals from their walking gait. This can allow restricted areas at military and commercial sites to be monitored for unauthorised personnel to ensure security and safety, help identify potentially hostile behaviour (e.g. someone carrying weapons), and monitor for potential situations of distress (e.g. fall detection for elderly people).

Radar systems for UAVs detection and classification

Francesco Fioranelli, Julien Le Kernec

Detection and classification of micro-drones and small UAVs, in a context where these platforms are becoming more and more available for the wider public, providing opportunities for potential misuses and even criminal uses (privacy invasion, smuggling of illicit substances, attack with explosives or chemicals). Research applications include the analysis of Radar Cross Section and micro-Doppler signatures of these platforms for improved detection and classification, identification and potential discrimination of payloads carried by these platforms, reduction of false alarms caused by birds.

Software-defined RADAR systems

Julien Le Kernec, Francesco Fioranelli, Petros KaradimasSajjad Hussain

The evolution of digital technologies has permitted the use of purely digital waveforms (such as OFDM/multitones) exploiting large bandwidths and presenting numerous advantages in wireless communications (i.e. increased data throughput, robustness against fading). To date, multitones have seldom been implemented in operational radar systems. Lately, the use of a Unmanned Airborne Vehicles for military operations on urban terrain are required to simultaneously perform radar sensing and remotely communicate data to a base station. This cannot be achieved with just Chirp. Consequently, there have been an increased number of research efforts in integrating telecommunication waveforms such as multitones in radar applications. Wideband signals enable finer slant range resolution for target identification and the implementation of waveform/spectrum diversity. Those recent technological developments constitute the foundation of software-defined radar, which can dynamically reconfigure its hardware, converters, and digital signal processors. Such radar is inherently multifunctional switching from one operating mode to another (surveillance, tracking, imaging and telecommunications). Recent studies reporting on the telecommunication capabilities of multitones in SAR systems have taken place without considering radar performances. The market is flourishing with new software-defined platforms but there is no way to predict performances apart from testing all the signals one by one on the platform. We thus focus on ways to predict performance at the radar system level and that of individual components in terms of the quantization and saturation processes).

Wireless channel characterization and modeling

Petros KaradimasQammer AbbasiLei Zhang

Focus is on parametric stochastic channel modeling of small scale and large scale variations in wireless propagation channels. Contrary to other approaches widely employed, such as measurement/site specific-, simulation (e.g., FDTD, ray tracing)-, or geometry-based that heavily rely on the specific wireless scenario setting (measurement or site specific-based) or fail to accurately model all features of multipath propagation such as multi-bounce scattering (geometry-based), we have been adopting a parametric stochastic modeling approach that can adapt to every propagation scenario, e.g., urban cellular, vehicle-vehicle, point-to-point mmwave communications. The inherent spatial, temporal and frequency variations are stochastically modelled following a duality principle, i.e., concepts from spatial variations modeling to be adopted in frequency variations modeling, etc. The applicability and limitations of all channel modeling approaches is comprehensively considered in terms of accuracy and complexity. One more advantage is that the adopted methodology can be readily adapted in the design of a wide range of wireless components and systems such as, multi-antenna systems, OFDM, CDMA receivers and physical layer security modules.

Physical layer of wireless/cellular communications

Muhammad Ali Imran, Petros KaradimasWasim Ahmad, Sajjad HussainLei Zhang, Guodong Zhao

Our research has focused on several aspects of the design of the technologies that enable the efficient information communication on wireless channel. This includes the design of efficient new waveforms (FBMC, UFMC, GFDM etc.), their theoretical and practical performance evaluation and their impact on system level performance. We also work on Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access techniques (NOMA) and its related waveforms (LDS, SCMA etc.) and its implications on system level performance. Our work also covers antenna and multi-antenna systems design and performance evaluation, together with hybrid beamforming and the potential of Visible Light Communication (VLC) for the future generation of cellular and wireless applications (the 5G). As a group, we are also working on receiver design aspects such as OFDM and CDMA systems and the physical layer security applications in Machine-to-Machine type and Internet-of-Things (IoT) communications. Our school of thought relies on exploiting the physical layer attributes for designing such systems.

Energy and spectrum efficient cellular communications

Muhammad Ali ImranShengrong BuSajjad HussainLei Zhang, Dr Petros Karadimas, Faisal Tariq

Our research focuses on reducing the energy bills for the network operators as well as saving the planet by reducing the carbon foot print of cellular networks. We look at energy efficient design at component level, energy harvesting solutions, efficient design of node level subsystems including power amplifier and then system level solutions like discontinuous transmissions and efficient cell-muting. Cognitive radio networking is further exploited for high spectrum efficiency via cooperative and cluster based spectrum sensing algorithms. With the objective of minimizing leased spectrum cost, the user requests are served with the sensed spectrum or put in a time bound queue in case of free spectrum unavailability. With the objective of minimizing leased spectrum cost, the user requests are served with the sensed spectrum or put in a time bound queue in case of free spectrum unavailability. We work on fundamental performance limits as well as practical solutions approaching these limits. We also look at disruptive new technologies like Device to Device and mm-Wave for their potential of energy efficient communications. We have pioneering publications on the futuristic architecture of Control Data Split (CDSA) to enable energy efficient operation of cellular systems.

Self organised networking (SON) for cellular systems

Muhammad Ali ImranShengrong Bu, Wasim AhmadSajjad HussainLei Zhang

We work on all aspects of Self-Organisation – including optimisation, configuration and healing capabilities. The main aim is to use the machine learning, artificial intelligence and other tools to implement a cellular operation that reduces the reliance on human resources and reduces the response time to any variations in the network environment. This allows the network to reconfigure and optimise to any changes in the requirements. We work on exploiting the available data as well as the dark data in the network to achieve our SON objectives. We have lead the contributions on SON enabled Control Data Split Architecture (CDSA) for 5G.

Vertical markets for wireless communications

Muhammad Ali Imran, Keliang Zhou, Petros KaradimasWasim Ahmad, Shengrong Bu, Sajjad HussainFrancesco Fioranelli, Julien Le KernecQammer AbbasiLei ZhangShufan YangDr Kelum Gamage, Guodong Zhao, Faisal Tariq, Imran Ansari

As a research group, we holistically exploit our capabilities to provide solutions to the vertical industries exploiting the capabilities of wireless communications. This includes (but is not limited to) smart cars, smart metering, smart manufacturing, financial markets, ultra-reliable communication, tactile internet, cost-effective solutions for covering rural areas, mHealth, Healthcare for underprivileged and Health Informatics, communications for learning and teaching solutions, delay tolerant services, use of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles UAVs for different services, communication for reshaping energy demand, smart grid, Smart spaces, Mobile phone applications and many more areas.

Smart grid communications and control

Sajjad Hussain, Keliang ZhouMuhammad Ali Imran, Shengrong BuDr Kelum Gamage

Efficient control strategies are explored to provide a balance between electricity cost and consumer satisfaction in smart grid scenario including DC micro-grids. The optimization is achieved using Lyapunov optimization as well as sliding mode control. An intelligent energy management system is proposed which takes into account the randomness in availability of renewable energies and schedules the user load services accordingly. The user load which is classified into delay tolerant and non-delay tolerant categories is served based on the availability of renewable energies. Moreover, a fluid flow model is introduced as a candidate for characterizing the dynamics of a Stand-alone DC Micro-grid (SDMG) while Sliding Mode Control is used to balance supply and demands.

Big-data-aware networks

Shengrong Bu, Muhammad Ali ImranDr Oluwakayode OniretiShufan Yang

Big data offers many opportunities to mobile network operators and utility companies for improving quality of service. For future wireless communication networks, we explore various ways of integrating big data analytics with network optimization to improve network efficiency and user quality of experience. Owing to their generic nature of the adopted modeling approaches expansion to other sectors can readily take place. For example in smart grids, we have considered the applications of big data in various sectors including renewable energy, energy demand response and electric vehicles in order to improve efficiency and accuracy of the smart grid. Various challenges need to be addressed including data uncertainty, quality and security.


Qammer AbbasiPetros KaradimasProf Muhammad Imran

With the development of the nanotechnology, the idea of coordinating the nano-devices was put forward, leading to the appearance of the nano-network.  Nano-technology has a critical role now a days in multidisciplinary domains such as environmental, industrial, biomedical and military; one of the emerging social and scientific impact of such technology would be in healthcare and bioengineering applications.  The main objective of this research is to investigate the possibility of connecting nano-devices securely by using various communication paradigm for different applications like biomedical and environmental. Emphasis of research will be on developing novel channel models, investigation of feasible modulation techniques and new physical layer security protocols for nano-devices.

Radiation detection and imaging instrumentation

Dr Kelum Gamage

Increased use of nuclear materials in nuclear power generation and other applications introduce significant demand for radiation detection and imaging systems. Fast and accurate detection, location and identification supports the public acceptance of nuclear technology by preventing nuclear terrorism as well as accelerating the decommissioning. This necessitates further development of existing techniques to overcome the current issues such as helium-3 supply issues, or to develop novel alternative techniques and systems which can be mass-produced easily and cheaply to detect and locate radioactive materials more precisely and efficiently. Our research has focused mainly on the development of new techniques and instrumentation to image and discriminate radioactive sources, and based on scintillator detectors and pulse shape discrimination technologies.

Energy harvesting communications

Prof Muhammad ImranDr Shengrong Bu

With the expected exponential growth of this market, resulting from the increase of data rates with the launch of 5G networks, the energy consumption of wireless networks is expected to increase dramatically. Energy harvesting (EH) is a promising solution to combat the energy inefficiency problem and make wireless network sustainable. The main idea for EH communication is to generate energy from the sources which do not cause CO2 emissions, e.g., solar cells, RF waves and wind turbines. In contrast to regular power supply solutions where a fixed amount of power is available throughout the operation, EH communication solutions are time dependent and the energy availability is a stochastic process. The system design philosophy for the sustainable EH communication system requires time domain optimization of the system resources such that energy is available before it is required. Energy efficient radio resource allocation and EH based solutions go hand to hand to make a wireless network sustainable, and maximize the revenues for the network operators. The focus of research is to develop and analyze resource allocation algorithms in wireless networks to reduce the on-grid power consumption in future networks.

Ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC)

Dr Lei ZhangDr Sajjad HussainDr Petros KaradimasProf Muhammad ImranDr Shengrong Bu, Guodong Zhao

5G systems simultaneously support various services (use cases) and need to span a wide range of requirements. Besides the race for increased data rates in 5G networks, enabling ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) is another challenge in 5G networks. Notion of reliability in URLLC not only includes reliable transmission of data in a network, but it includes time dimension as well. The data has to be delivered within the latency targets reliably and the latency target are for end-to-end system. URLLC finds applications in health sector, autonomous vehicles, industrial control, mission critical applications, and many other emerging areas. The challenge is to develop resource allocation mechanisms in a wireless network that enable URLLC. The topic of interest in this emerging area of research include techniques like wireless proactive caching, fog computing, cloud RAN, hybrid ARQ, Device to Device communication and network slicing to name a few.

Optical Wireless Communication (OWC) and its Applications

Dr Imran Shafique Ansari, Prof Muhammad ImranQammer Abbasi (ENE), Rami Ghannam (ENE),

Wireless communications have significantly evolved due to the advanced technology of smartphones, portable devices, and the growth of Internet of Things (IoT), e-Health, e-Commerce, intelligent transportation systems, and social networking. Recently, the use of Optical Wireless Communications (OWCs) is exhibited in mobile phones as an additional communication technology like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, in order to overcome the spectrum crunch and provide higher data rates in urban environment and crowded locations. OWCs offer numerous advantages such as free license, wide bandwidth, inherent security, and no interference and represents a complementary technology to the radio frequency (RF) technologies particularly in the emerging 5G based wireless communication networks and beyond. Nevertheless, the widespread deployment of OWC systems, namely, infra-red, Visible Light Communications (VLC), and Free-Space Optical (FSO) Communications, is facing a number challenges such as the impact of the weather, safety regulation, device performance, compatibility with existing systems, complexity, and cost. Moreover, a growing trend is seen in research and development activities in the emerging field of OWC, covering FSO and VLC for indoor and outdoor applications, including underwater communications and applications in healthcare and oil & gas industry.