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Research

Controls

We lead controls research, dealing 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

NASA’s SPLICE is the landing app Apollo didn’t have

Researchers in the Autonomous Control Lab and the RAIN Lab developed guidance algorithms to help land spacecrafts in areas that we don’t have mapped out well.

A successful Mars rover landing ends with a crash

A&A’s Behcet Açıkmeşe helped develop hurling algorithms to land NASA's rovers Curiosity and Perseverance. 

A&A's Research Takes Flight

A&A research will get the rare opportunity to fly in real flight conditions on the 2021 Boeing ecoDemonstrator.

Hide and Seek

The Autonomous Flight Systems Lab builds a drone-based machine learning dataset to find those lost in the wilderness.

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

Behçet Açıkmeşe headshot

Thu, 12/09/2021

Behçet Açıkmeşe elevated to 2022 IEEE Fellow

Professor Açıkmeşe voted IEEE Fellow for optimization-based nonlinear control and planetary landing systems.
 

Samuel Buckner headshot

Wed, 11/24/2021

Samuel Buckner is the newest A&A ARCS Scholar

A&A doctoral student Samuel Buckner received an ARCS Scholarship to create new technologies and expand innovation.
 

High altitude view of the Earth at night

Tue, 10/12/2021

WA Space Grant moves to A&A

The renowned NASA program's relocation to A&A will help strengthen hands-on student learning.

Perseverance Rover Decelerating in the Martian Atmosphere (Illustration)

Thu, 08/12/2021 | UW Aero & Astro

Nailing the landings in space

A&A is solving the challenges of how and where to land on the Moon, Mars and beyond.