Autonomous Landing of Unmanned Aerial Systems on a Ship in a Sea State with Low Visibility


Please join us for an exciting Robotics & Automation technical talk by Dr. Jordan Ross (see details down below).

This event will take place with Zoom On-Line Meeting (please register for the event to receive the Zoom Link).

  Date and Time




  • Date: 17 Jun 2021
  • Time: 07:00 PM to 08:00 PM
  • All times are America/Halifax
  • Add_To_Calendar_icon Add Event to Calendar

Meeting ID: 867 0459 4197

Passcode: 437287

  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Canada

  • Starts 03 June 2021 12:00 PM
  • Ends 17 June 2021 05:00 PM
  • All times are America/Halifax
  • No Admission Charge


Dr. Jordan Ross


Autonomous Landing of Unmanned Aerial Systems on a Ship in a Sea State with Low Visibility

There are increasingly demanding requirements among military, government, corporate and public organizations to sense the physical environment. Some of these environments are among the harshest, meaning tools that mitigate risks, decrease costs, and maximize opportunities should be considered, such as Umanned Aerial Systems (UAS). To fully exploit their potential for say ship-based operations more advanced capabilities like recovery at-sea are needed. Current technologies are built around vision-based systems and very few other end-to-end autonomous ship-based landing methods have been fielded. Most current methods are based on calm sea states. A novel autonomous landing technique is presented, using acoustic positioning to allow for landings under a wider breadth of conditions and reduces the reliance on specially designed landing targets. It also features a potential fields path-planner which adapts for ship motions and provides obstacle avoidance and natural biasing away from a ship deck heaving in a sea state. The autonomy uses an UAS-based predictor which learns from in situ ship motion measurements to project when the best landing window will occur in higher sea states. Autonomous landings were demonstrated in simulation and in a laboratory setting for sea conditions up to, and including, sea state 5. The ship motions in these sea states are captured in response amplitude operators from at-sea measurements of the decommissioned Annapolis-class destroyer HMCS Nipigon. The results from this work are applied to other vessels for in-water sensor deployments towards environmental monitoring as well as detections of mobile targets.


Dr. Jordan Ross’ research interests are in autonomy (decision-making, mission re-planning, in situ sensor analysis, etc.) of systems in harsh and difficult environments. These environments have varied from marine to air to space. He has led larger research and development projects for clients in government, industry and academia. Dr. Ross earned his Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) degree at Dalhousie University. Then, he pursued his interests in autonomous robotics at Carleton University and defended his M.A.Sc. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. This was followed by joining Dalhousie University’s Mechanical Engineering Department as a Ph.D. candidate. In 2020 Dr. Ross successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on autonomous unmanned aerial system landing on a ship in a sea state. He immediately started a 1-year Post- Doctoral Fellowship with Dalhousie University’s Intelligent Systems Laboratory. Dr. Ross is currently an
Industrial Post-Doctoral Fellow through the MITACS Accelerate Program with Ultra Maritime Systems (Dartmouth, CA and Weymouth, UK) where he develops marine and ship-based systems enabled by autonomy.