Research Interests

Nonlinear Control

Nonlinear control can improve  a system's performance and robustness. This is especially useful for ocean, atmospheric, and space vehicles which operate in uncertain and widely varying conditions. Ongoing research focuses on the development of energy-based nonlinear control design and analysis methods for mechanical systems, including vehicles.

Robotics and Autonomy

Aerospace and ocean robots, specifically unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), are used in a growing variety of military, scientific, and commercial applications.  Ongoing research focuses on perception and planning, guidance and control, and reliability of autonomous ocean and atmospheric vehicles.

Atmospheric and Ocean Vehicle Dynamics

Motion models and analysis tools for conventional atmospheric and ocean vehicles are well developed. Deformable, multibody vehicles -- including biomimetic air and ocean vehicles -- are more challenging to engineer, but their agility and efficiency motivates the development of new design and analysis tools.

Research Topics and Themes

  • Guidance, Navigation, and Control
    • Energy-Based Nonlinear Control
    • Optimal Planning in Flow Fields
    • Model Identification
  • Actuators and Configurations
    • Flexible Matrix Composite (FMC) Actuators (with Dr. M. Philen)
    • Underwater Gliding with Pneumatic Buoyancy Control
    • Joined-Wing SensorCraft (with Dr. R. Canfield)
  • Sensing Technologies and Algorithms
    • Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Vehicles
    • Detection and Tracking of Trace Constituents
    • Atmospheric and Ocean Flow Field Estimation
  • Biomimetic Locomotion