Posted by: Lesley Weitz
on Feb 23, 2009
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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
Posted by: Lesley Weitz
on Jan 22, 2009
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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.