Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs/drones) – Steven Moore

Get to know Steven Moore

My career highlight? Watching space shuttle Columbia take-off carrying technology I had helped develop!

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs/drones) – Steven Moore

Personal experience

I developed a strong interest in research while working as a biomedical engineer at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, obtaining a PhD on tracking of 3D eye movements. My work caught the attention of NASA as these subtle eye movements are a window into the function of the balance system of the inner ear that is disturbed in the zero-g environment of spaceflight.

I moved to New York City in 1996 to take up a post-doctoral position at Mount Sinai hospital, working with the European Space Agency and NASA to implement my system as part of the first test of artificial gravity (AG) in humans, flown aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1998 as part of the Neurolab mission.

Over the next 18 years, I was lead investigator on NASA-funded studies on the effects of long-duration space flight on neurological function. This culminated in a seven-year investigation of the effects of extended weightlessness on the ability of astronauts to operate complex machinery on the day of landing after six months aboard the International Space Station. The study results were used by NASA's mission architecture team to plan early crew activities after lengthy transits in microgravity for future exploration-class missions.

In 2005, I applied the measurement technologies developed in support of astronaut assessment to the evaluation of pathological gait in Parkinson's disease, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Intel Corp. In 2016, after 20 years at Mount Sinai, I returned to Australia to start a new career as Deputy Dean for Research within the School of Engineering and Technology at CQUniversity.

Research at CQUniversity: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs/drones) and the applications for businesses/society/the environment

After 20 years in New York City, we decided to return to Australia. I was offered positions at a major metro university and CQUni. What interested me about CQUni was the chance to do hands-on research in regional areas.

Drones are becoming increasingly common and are the focus of considerable industry and academic interest. Our approach is to work directly with the end-user, such as farmers and operators of heavy-haul railways, to create innovative solutions to a diverse range of problems.

Drones are a relatively new phenomenon and CQUni is a leading player in developing drone-based solutions to solve issues exacerbated by remoteness. Taking on a research higher degree in our drone program provides a challenging, hands-on experience involving both laboratory and field work, with the satisfaction of making a real impact in regional and remote areas.

CQUniversity provides a welcoming, nurturing environment that actively supports RHD students from Australia and abroad.

Current research projects

The drone program at CQUniversity is a collaborative effort across several disciplines, including railway engineering, intelligent systems, horticulture and livestock management. Examples of current projects include vertebrate pest management in fruit orchards and autonomous track inspection for remote heavy-haul railways in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Research career highlights

To date, the highlight of my career would have to be watching the launch of the space shuttle Columbia, carrying technology I had helped develop.

If I wasn’t in a research career I’d probably be diving the world.

Explore more about current research at CQUni’s School of Engineering and Technology.