Formal Validation of UAV Flight Control Software

This project deals with designing reliable control systems that guarantee the safe operation of autonomous, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Ensuring this reliability is accomplished by validating the control systems in the sense that these systems are shown to function correctly over the considered ranges of operation parameters under various possible uncertainties and disturbances.

Motion Planning and Control of Agile Vehicles

This project focuses on developing an integrated approach for motion planning and control of highly-maneuverable vehicles using pre-specified motion primitives.

Cooperative Control in Complex Environments

This project aims at developing analytical and computational tools for the cooperative control of multi-vehicle systems along trajectories in obstacle environments. The applications are numerous, ranging from coordinated military attacks (hitting targets, refueling, retreating to safe zones, etc.) to firefighting and various civilian security operations. The work concentrates on two main cooperative control strategies: optimal finding (mobile sensor networks, surveillance) and optimal delivering (target servicing or spatial queuing). The goal is to integrate robust feedback control methods into the design and construction of multi-vehicle systems to ensure operational networks despite disturbances, communication latency and packet loss, obstacles in an uncertain environment, and model uncertainties.

Model Reduction and Computational Tractability

This project focuses on reducing the computational complexity of distributed control problems of interest to manageable levels and the effort in this regard is concentrated in two areas: model reduction and simplified computational algorithms. Concerning model reduction, many results on balanced truncation and coprime factors reduction can be extended to the distributed system framework. In addition, it is possible to exploit the structural properties of distributed systems to improve the size and numerical conditioning of the resulting semidefinite programs.

Obstacle-Sensitive Trajectory Regulation

This project focuses on the control of vehicular systems along trajectories in the presence of obstacles. The work is specifically motivated by the challenges encountered in landing Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicles on moving platforms, where the vehicle mismanagement relative to its environment can lead to grave consequences.