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Colloquium - Frew

Net-Centric Control of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Communication and Sensing Applications
Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV)

Wireless networked communication plays a key role in the coordination and control of robotic sensor networks. Most work in the field of cooperative control assumes simple graph-theoretic models to describe connectivity among neighboring agents. Unfortunately this model is overly simplistic and does not capture wireless network behaviors in realistic communication environments. In particular, wireless communication is not easily described by sets of "links", but rather, communication capability changes as a function of relative positions between agents, and fading (noise) effects are difficult to predict. This presentation describes a framework for controlled mobility of multi-vehicle networks performing active sensing tasks in realistic communication environments.

An information-theoretical formulation of active sensing tasks will be presented that combines sensing and communication. Optimal robot motion is derived using this new formulation. Mitigation of noise and other unmodeled effects is achieved through decentralized model-free adaptive control techniques to improve information flow relative to the positions determined by the initial optimization. Experimental results obtained from the Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV) Heterogeneous Unmanned Aircraft System (R-HUAS) are presented. Compared to other UAS test-beds operated by university and government research institutions, a key innovation of HUAS is the presence of a multi-tier airborne mobile ad-hoc network.

Dr. Eric W. Frew is an associate professor in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado Boulder where he is also a member of the Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV). He received his BS in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 1995 and his MS and PhD in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in 1996 and 2003, respectively. Prior to joining the CU-Boulder faculty, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the UC Berkeley Center for Collaborative Control of Unmanned Vehicles where he oversaw the development and flight demonstrations of a fleet of three intelligent aerial platforms. Dr. Frew's research efforts focus on self-directed collaborative navigation of unmanned aircraft, exploitation of controlled mobility for integrating communication into multi-objective control, and optimal distributed sensing by teams of autonomous vehicles. He has over 60 journal, book chapter, and conference papers. In 2006 he was named Young Engineer of the Year by the AIAA Rocky Mountain Section in recognition of his "contributions to the field of unmanned aircraft systems in the areas of sensing, planning, and control." He received the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2009.

Hosted by Leysia Palen and Nikolaus Correll.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)