Seminar at the National Institute of Aerospace

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Type: Seminar
Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Time: 10:30 am
Location: NIA headquarters, 100 Exploration Way, Room 137
Speaker: Lesley A. Weitz, PhD Candidate, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University


Subject: "Using Structural Analogies to Analyze and Design Cooperative Control Laws for Multivehicle Systems"

ABSTRACT: Advances in communication, navigation, and computational systems have enabled greater autonomy in multivehicle systems. With these technological advances, the opportunity to control multivehicle systems becomes a reality, and there is a shift toward decentralized, cooperative systems for computational efficiency and robustness. Decentralized, cooperative multivehicle applications include: robotic vehicles for search-and-rescue or planetary exploration, formation control of UAVs/MAVs, automated highway systems, and next-generation air traffic systems. This presentation will show how cooperative control laws for multivehicle systems are analogous to structural systems. By exploiting this analogy, traditional analysis tools can be applied to investigate the system stability and the effect of disturbances on multivehicle systems. Two analysis tools will be presented here: modal cost and receptance functions. The modal cost quantifies the disturbability of the system for a given control law, and the receptance functions reveal string instabilities for a given control law. Simulation results will be presented to support the use of these analysis tools in the cooperative control-law design.

Lesley A. Weitz is currently a PhD Candidate (expected graduation May 2009) in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University under the advisement of Dr. Johnny Hurtado. Ms. Weitz's research is in the area of decentralized, cooperative control design and stability analysis. She has worked with NASA Langley Research Center and the National Institute of Aerospace on Next-Generation Air Traffic Systems, and has recently been awarded a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship for her research in this area. In addition, Ms. Weitz is also a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Amelia Earhart Fellow, and an AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Fellow. Ms. Weitz received her Master's degree, also from Texas A&M University, in 2005, and her Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University at Buffalo in 2002.