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The research conducted in the distributed space systems laboratory pertains to the general area of distributed and networked systems and their applications as well as the general area of guidance, navigation, and control of aerospace vehicles. For example, as networks become more and more ubiquitous in many areas of engineering, it has become of paramount importance to examine how the network and its structure effect the dynamic properties of the overall system, such as its stability, performance, and robustness, both in the random and worst- case settings.

We also consider some of the more fundamental system-theoretic questions such as controllability and observability of networked systems. Our research team examines a wide range questions from theoretical point of view as well as their ramifications for systems such as multiple spacecraft formation flying, networked robotics, UAV formations, heterogeneous dynamic networks, and more recently in the setting of quantum and molecular networks.

Current Projects

Semi-autonomous Networks: A System-theoretic Perspective

In this NSF-funded project, we examine semi-autonomous networked systems from a control-theoretic perspective.

Applications and motivation for this work arise from semi-autonomous robotic networks, distributed sensor networks, nano-networks, and control of quantum graphs.

Network-centric input-output and robustness analysis framework for distributed dynamic systems

In an NSF-funded research project, we consider the effect of random networks on the operation and performance of networked systems. In particular, we aim to consider the issues such as time-scales and phase transitions in the robustness and performance of networked systems.

Simulation and Robustness Analysis Framework for Networked Heterogeneous Dynamic Systems with Application to 787 Power System Analysis and Design

In a Boeing-funded research project, we consider the centralized and distributed optimization techniques for high-performance yet environmentally friendly operation of next generation aircraft power systems consisting of heterogeneous sources of power generation and smart programmable loads.

Security and Robustness of Networked Systems:
Random graphs, Algebraic graph theory and Control over Networks

In a research project funded by AFOSR, we consider the security and robustness of networked systems using notions from control theory.



Past Projects

  • A Novel Approach to Adaptive Observers and Estimators for Multiple Spacecraft Formations
    In this project, we considered distributed estimation algorithms for multiple spacecraft formations. (JPL/NASA)
    View Movie (avi format)
  • Real-Time Data Acquisition System for Quantitative Visualization of Complex 3-D Phenomena This is a joint project with five other faculty in the department for advanced computing infrastructure for visualization and large-scale data analysis. (Murdock Foundation)
  • Distributed Space Systems Control via Graph-Driven Hybrid Systems and Matrix Inequalities
    In this project, we examined at fundamental control challenges for control and navigation of multiple space formation flying. (NSF)
  • Deconfliction and Reconfiguration Strategies for Multiple-UAV Systems (Boeing/Phantom Works)
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  • Reconfigurable Control Algorithms for Distributed Systems
    In this work we considered the reconfigurable control algorithms for distributed systems that operate on time-varying network topologies.(Boeing/Phantom Works)
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  • Switching Control Laws for Constrained Formation Maneuvers
    In this project, we considered hybrid control laws for spacecraft formation flying that combines various mission requirements, including disturbance rejection and time/fuel efficiency of the maneuvers. (JPL/NASA)