Michael Malisoff, LSU Roy Paul Daniels Professor of Mathematics, has been awarded a 3-year research grant entitled ``Designs and Theory for Interval Contractors and Reference Governors with Aerospace Applications'' from the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The project is collaborative with Laurent Burlion, who is an assistant professor in the Rutgers University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
A primary aim of their NSF project is to ensure that aerial vehicles or other dynamical systems can track desired paths, even when there are input and state constraints. Input constraints include constraints on the magnitudes of forces that can be applied to the systems such as limited available thrust for aerial vehicles, and state constraints can include collision avoidance requirements when multiple vehicles work together to survey an area of interest. The NSF project will be based on mathematical analysis that can lead to performance guarantees, which is a significant departure from research in the engineering community that was mainly experimental. The applications will include propellant slosh mitigation, automatic safe landing, and source seeking. The work will also be collaborative with PhD students from mathematics and engineering, and will include experiments with actual aerial vehicles, first in a laboratory at Rutgers and then outdoors.
The total project budget is \$440,000, with \$210,000 of this total having been awarded to LSU. The funds have been provided by the NSF Applied Mathematics Program and by the NSF Energy, Power, Control, and Networks Program. Additional funding for their collaboration is being provided by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) as part of the ONR award "Interval Observers for Enhanced Shipboard Landing and Formation Control for Naval Aircraft" which has a total project award budget of \$567,279.