A Texas A&M team of graduate students and professors in the Department of Aerospace Engineering won first place in the inaugural Model-based Aerospace CHallenge #1 (MACH-1).
The challenge was sponsored by The Mathworks Corp. of Natick, Mass., and the Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
The competition challenge was to design and implement an integrated control system to fly an aerial regional-scale environmental survey of Mars (ARES) aircraft along a prescribed trajectory for the purpose of collecting scientific data. The flight control system was designed to be implemented in a prototype embedded processor environment that was connected to a high-fidelity simulation model of the aircraft and flight environment for evaluation of the design.
Student teams were provided with detailed code interface specifications and were tasked to provide ANSI-C compliant source code to implement their control algorithms within the provided framework. The guidance, navigation, and control system was developed using a detailed simulation specification of the airplane and its component subsystems. The simulation was used to examine proposed mission scenarios to determine their feasibility and to design and create required interfaces between the various subsystems. The winning design was an H-infinity based longitudinal reference tracking controller.
The teams’ code solutions were judged by a panel of experts from industry and government labs, according to a specific set of performance criteria as evaluated in a detailed simulation environment, and a technical report. Each team presented their results in an invited session Aug. 21 at the AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference in Honolulu.
The faculty advisors were Dr. Raktim Bhattacharya, assistant professor and director of the Computational Intelligence and Sensing for Aerospace Robotics Laboratory; and Dr. John Valasek, associate professor and Director of the Vehicle Systems and Control Laboratory.
Aerospace engineering graduate student team members were Baljeet Singh, Shalom Johnson, Justin Jackson and Monica Marwaha.
Written by Dr. John Valasek