Katie Archibald

Katie Archibald

YINI Placement Company

Going on to study General Engineering at the University of Cambridge

Creating an Advanced Clutter Model 

Katie developed an advanced clutter model which simulates expected clutter (radar reflections from the ground), using free Ordnance Survey map data, serving to significantly enhance the accuracy of predictions of modern radar modes. While existing clutter models assume the ‘Earth’ as uniform (without hills, or difference between sea and land types), Katie’s model added ‘texture’ and contours through an algorithm based on Ordnance Survey maps. In order to achieve this, Katie undertook independent research and taught herself coding, as well as creating her own software to draw 3D objects.  

In collaboration with her manager, Katie wrote a paper for Leonardo's company journal, outlining her work on a particularly complex element of the project and her solution to inconsistencies in the data produced.


Comparisons with real data have confirmed the high accuracy of the model produced by Katie. As such, Leonardo has been able to reduce the number of flight trials required in testing and development, with an estimated saving on flights alone of £60,000 per year.

“Katie was a stand-out candidate from the moment we interviewed her: brimming with enthusiasm and confidence. Working with calm, dogged determination throughout the year, she has never let any obstacle beat her. Her work on the advanced clutter model is world class and is worthy of someone with much more experience. She transformed her model from being merely ‘very good’ to being ‘outstanding’ – the results are simply astonishing! Her success is a result of her tireless endeavour and brilliant intellect. I am honoured and privileged to have worked with such a talented youngster”.

Paul Rose, Lead Radar Systems Engineer, Leonardo


Date published: 
September 14, 2015