Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Electrical & Electronic Engineering

The Group has a wide range of facilities for the design, production and testing of electronic, communication and optical equipment.

Some of the main research facilities are:

  • Electronics Research Laboratories
    • Satellite Applications Laboratory Testbed
    • DART - Digital Advanced Rural Testbed
    • Internet Network Engineering Testbed
  • Optics and Laser Laboratories
    • eHOLOCAM
  • Power Systems Research Laboratories

Electronics Teaching and Research Laboratories

University of Aberdeen has had an active and successful group researching Internet engineering. The electronics research laboratories are housed on the second floor of the Fraser Noble building in a purpose-built research laboratories, adjacent to the teaching and honour's project student laboratories, the facilities include an electronics workshop to support research and final year project work. Undergraduate students undertake a project in their final year, most are aligned to our portfolio of research, providing the opportunity for students to gain experience of the challenges of real-world engineering problems.

Satellite Applications Laboratory Testbed (SALT)

Digital systems, based on the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) standard offer much more than TV. A purpose-built roof-top facility hosts a range of satellite receivers, used to test and evaluate Internet services using DVB transmission technology. Terminals range from 0.3m to 2.5m in size. The laboratory has supported design of a range of DVB standards for IP-based data transmission, including the Generic Stream Encapsulation (GSE), and the addition of IP networking support to the latest DVB-RCS2 specification.

Internet Network Engineering Testbed

The group maintains its own experimental Internet infrastructure linked to academic and commercial networks. The testbed is well equipped with workstations, managed Ethernet Switches and IP Routers for network experiments. It fully supports IPv4 and IPv6. QoS support may be supplied when needed within the network. The testbed supports active development of open standards, and contribution to open source software projects. The testbed operates in climate-controlled suite with researchers granted remote access to control, logging, and monitoring functions.

Optics and Laser Laboratories

University of Aberdeen has had an active and successful group researching optical engineering for the last thirty years and continues to contribute to what has become Optoelectronics - a rapidly growing hot-spot for academia and industry. An extensive set of lasers, photographic processing and hologram replay facilities are used for experiments ranging from the welding of dissimilar materials to volume sectioning using the world's largest dual orientation holographic camera. Hologram recording and analysis are done on special pneumatically isolated workbenches and image replay can be examined minutely with the aid of two high-precision XYZ micro-positioning stages.


This two ton camera takes 3D underwater pictures and is featured in the 2002 Guinness Book of Records as the most advanced holographic underwater camera. HOLOCAM works at depths down to 100 meters and takes in situ recordings of marine organisms. Control electronics enable the camera to be remotely operated from ship. In-line holography is capable of producing images of organisms in the size range 5 to 250 microns (at concentrations up to a few thousand per cubic centimetre at the smallest sizes).
The use of a pulsed laser coupled with the inherent high resolution and three-dimensionality of holography effectively 'freezes' the scene at an instant. Although recording takes place in water, the image is replayed in the laboratory in air. By micro-positioner translation of a computer-controlled video-camera through the replayed image volume and performing optical sectioning on the image, individual organisms can be isolated and their size, shape and relative location precisely determined.


This second-generation camera, developed from experience in design, implementation and testing of HOLOCAM. Significant advances were made to incorporate digital recording, replay and analysis. In addition, the eHoloCam is one sixth of the volume and one twentieth of the weight of the HoloMar camera. eHoloCam has been deployed in the North Sea and North Atlantic (Faroes Channel) from the RV Scotia, a research vessel owned by the Fisheries Research Services Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen. Over 290 digital holographic videos were recorded containing several thousand individual holograms of plankton and other marine organisms and particles. It has demonstrated the deepest (known) deployment of holography at 500 m below sea-level in the North Sea although designed to be deployed to 1.8 km. eHoloCam is being developed by an industry partner (CDL) for commercial applications. This unique underwater camera will help enhance our awareness of the environment and provide a better understanding of the health of the oceans. The holograms can be recorded underwater to give 3D images of plankton - the tiny subsea organisms which are the basic building block of life. These organisms range in size from a few microns to several millimetres. A study of these creatures is essential for marine biologists in their drive to understand the oceans and its influence on our global environment.

Power Systems Laboratories

The Power Systems Laboratories are located on the ground floor of the Fraser Noble Building. Separate laboratories support both research and teaching in Electrical systems and power electronics. Purpose-built high power transmission facilities support experimental research. Equipment includes a test Direct Current rig with DC fault protection and DC/DC voltage transformation capability (900V, 30kW 5-converter Direct Current network). A recent addition is a 30kW prototype DC/DC converter and a DC circuit breaker. The DC network provides a unique capability to test integration of large offshore renewable power parks with DC grids.

Artificial intelligence, Robotics and Mechatronic Systems group (ARMS)

The Artificial intelligence,  Robotics and Mechatronic Systems Group (ARMS) brings together complimentary research and teaching expertise from a diverse group of academics with interests in all aspects of robot design and control, bioengineering, artificial intelligence and machine learning and applied control engineering. ARMS is also home to PhD students exploring new principles of Human Robot Interaction, design and control of novel soft robots, application of AI methods to robot vision, grasping and data interpretation problems, modelling and control of self-balancing robots, soft actuator applications to joint rehabilitation, design and control of precision mechatronic systems and new control designs for a wide range of linear and nonlinear systems. Our labs are equipped with multi-link robotic manipulators, robot swarms, nanopositioning systems, a complete pneumatic soft actuator fabrication and actuation setup, 3D printers, wheeled robotic platforms as well as a humanoid robot; to go with all the sensing and instrumentation required to develop accurate system models, perform in-depth dynamical studies and validate new control schemes. Our research is funded by Research Councils, Non-profit Organizations and several industries..