Dr Steven Johnston is currently a Senior Research Fellow for the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at University of Southampton, UK. He completed a Ph.D. with the Computational Engineering and Design Group (CED) at the University of Southampton where he also received a first class MEng degree in Software Engineering from the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS). He has won over £1.4M in funding through industrial and EPSRC applications. His current research interests are investigating how current and emerging technologies can be applied to existing engineering scenarios, with a focus on Cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT). This role includes the construction of custom devices as well as commodity sensors and their application to enterprise driven scenarios, for example in shipping, traffic management, environment, health and home sensors.
Current research projects support the construction and maintenance of the Southampton LoRaWAN wireless network and the software infrastructure required to facilitate the next generation of IoT devices and enable smart city applications.
ASTRA (Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft) investigates new technologies for making low cost observations of the physical parameters of the atmosphere. We develop and test platforms capable of delivering scientific instruments to altitudes ranging from the planetary boundary layer (hundreds of meters) to the upper stratosphere (up to 50km).
The use of fleets of light, unmanned aircraft, makes extensive studies more affordable, even when payloads need to be delivered to extreme altitudes. It also enables applications where the deployment of manned aircraft is impractical, such as when observations need to be made in highly polluted environments (e.g., volcanic ash clouds) or extreme weather conditions.
Much of my previous work revolves around Windows Azure as part of ‘Clouds in Space’. Where we demonstrate how a cloud-based computing architecture can be used for planetary defense and space situational awareness (SSA). We show how utility compute can facilitate both a financially economical and highly scalable solution for space debris and near-earth object impact analysis. As we improve our ability to track smaller space objects, and satellite collisions occur, the volume of objects being tracked vastly increases, increasing computational demands. Propagating trajectories and calculating conjunctions becomes increasingly time critical, thus requiring an architecture which can scale with demand. The extension of this to tackle the problem of a future near-earth object impact is discussed, and how cloud computing can play a key role in this civilisation-threatening scenario.
I am also involved in a BizSpark startup Segoz.co.uk which creates custom smartphone applications. Feel free to contact me, as this site is very much still work in progress so any suggestions are welcomed.