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Research

Controls

UW Aeronautics & Astronautics is a leader in controls, which deals with the position, direction, safety and communication aspects of a single vehicle or swarm of vehicles in motion through air, water or space.

We offer courses in the guidance, navigation, and control of unmanned aerial systems as well as the optimization and control of networked systems. We are leaders in research in control of autonomous systems, bio-inspired engineering, model predictive control, dynamical modeling, and estimation for single and distributed systems. We develop tools that address the temporal, spatial and nonlinear challenges posed by autonomy.

A&A undergrad and graduate students have the opportunity to explore practical applications for autonomy by gaining hands-on flight-testing and field operations experience with interdisciplinary collaborators and partners.

Behçet Açikmeşe

Key research areas

  • Automatic control
  • Autonomous vehicle control
  • Control theory
  • Dynamics and optimization
  • Flight operations
  • Underwater vehicle design
  • Unmanned aerial systems

Associated faculty

Research highlights

The Nonlinear Dynamics and Control Lab works with both traditional autonomous vehicles as well as bio-inspired propulsion, agile flight, and neural engineering.

The Autonomous Flight Systems Lab develops unmanned systems technology for critical uses such as wildfire modeling and search and locate.

The RAIN Lab is advancing research on how the structure of networks affects the dynamics of systems that evolve over them.

The Autonomous Control Lab is interpreting the insights from Mars missions to advance autonomous applications for Earth and Space.

Award-winning student team

A&A’s Charlie Kelly and Taylor Reynolds launched the A&A CubeSat Club, with support from Aeroject Rocketdyne. The club is developing its first satellite, SOC-i, that will reconcile constraints in its orientation and imaging systems. With these capabilities, SOC-i will be a step toward comprehensive environmental monitoring.

Related News

Sarah Li standing on a hill overlooking a river

Wed, 01/13/2021 | UW Aero & Astro

Sarah Li named Amelia Earhart Scholar

Ph.D. student Sarah Li wins Amelia Earhart Scholarship for her dynamic games approach to autonomous networks.

hawkmoth

Wed, 10/21/2020 | UW Aero & Astro

Hawkmoth research yields lessons in agile flight

A&A research of the biological sensing mechanisms of the hawkmoth informs the advancement of aerospace systems.

Fri, 08/07/2020 | UW Aero & Astro

Hide and seek

A&A's Autonomous Flight Systems Lab is building a drone-based machine learning dataset to find those lost in wilderness.

Mon, 05/18/2020 | UW Aero & Astro

Modeling COVID-19 transmission: Apply aerospace

A&A alum Dan Klein draws on his controls training to model the transmission of COVID-19 in King County.