Cornel Sultan

Associate Professor

  • Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, Purdue University
  • M.S. Applied Mathematics, Purdue University
  • B.S./M.S. Aerospace Engineering, Polytechnic University, Romania

AOE 6204 Advanced Vehicle Dynamics and Control:  This course addresses advanced topics in the dynamics and control of single and multi-body systems which apply to holonomic and nonholonomic models of vehicles. Physics based and data based modeling is discussed from the control system designer’s perspective. The particular structure of the equations of motion is exploited for stability analysis, system analysis, control design. Examples may include structures (e.g. general cable structures, tensegrity, membranes), spacecraft, aircraft.

AOE 5204 Vehicle Dynamics and Control:  This course focuses on relevant rigid body kinematics and dynamics issues common to the motion of several types of vehicles such as aircraft, spacecraft, and ships.   Modeling rotational and translational motions of rigid bodies is covered in detail. Special cases are used to illustrate application of the general equations of motion.  Linearization of the equations of motion is used in stability analysis, modal analysis, and control system synthesis. Specific examples from aircraft, spacecraft, ships are developed to illustrate relevant applications.

AOE 4140 Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control:  This course focuses on fundamental dynamics and control concepts relevant to spacecraft modeled as point mass or a single rigid body.  Rotational kinematics and attitude determination algorithms are illustrated.  Modeling and analysis of attitude dynamics, rigid body dynamics, effects of energy dissipation are discussed, as well as gravity gradient, spin, and dual spin stabilization.  Rotational maneuvers, the effect of environmental torques, and the impact of attitude stabilization techniques on mission performance are also covered.

Dynamics, Control, Structures

  • 2016: Fellow Virginia Tech College of Engineering
  • 2012: Virginia Tech VP for Research Scholar of the Week
  • 2007 - 2015 Assistant then Associate Professor, Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Virginia Tech
  • 2004 - 2007 Staff Engineer, United Technologies Research Center, Hartford, CT
  • 2001 - 2004 Research Engineer (Consultant/Full Time), SSCI, Woburn, MA
  • 2001 - 2003 Research Fellow, Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 1999 - 2001 Research Engineer, Tensegra Inc. (start-up), Boston, MA
  • Technical Area Chair for AIAA GNC Conference on Conference Aerospace Robotics and Unmanned/Autonomous Systems, Scitech 2016
  • Technical Area Chair for AIAA GNC Conference on Control Theory, Analysis, and Design, Scitech 2015
  • AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee Member

Rotorcraft Dynamics and Control

Complex, physics based, control oriented models are developed to accurately capture essential rotorcraft dynamics beyond flight dynamics modes. These models are further used in advanced control for steady and maneuvering flight, failure management via control adaptation, integrated helicopter and control design, passive and active blade morphing, autonomy in shipboard operations, etc.

Prestressable Structures,  Membranes, Thin Structures 

Prestressable structures are studied, including tensegrity, membranes, as well as general thin structures. Modeling, design, and control issues are investigated for applications in civil and space engineering, robotics, energy harvesting. 

Energy Harvesting

Energy harvesting from large amplitude vibrations of mechanical systems as well as ocean and wind turbines is investigated. The research has strong mathematical modeling and advanced control components.

Trajectory Generation, Coordination

Path planning, trajectory, and coordination algorithm for a single vehicle as well as vehicle formations is investigated.

Dr. Cornel Sultan
  • (540) 231-0047
  • csultan@vt.edu
  • Aerospace & Ocean Engineering (MC0203)
    Randolph Hall, RM 224-14, Virginia Tech
    460 Old Turner St.
    Blacksburg, VA 24061