Precision Small-light Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Localization and Navigation with Novel Sensing and Control

Interdisciplinary Areas: Data/Information/Computation

Project Description

Despite ever-increasing demands and recent advancements on unmanned air vehicle (UAV) technologies, it remains challenging for any of the state-of-the-art small-light autonomous UAVs to achieve precise localization and navigation in unstructured and unknown environments. This proposed research aims at achieving millimeter accuracy in localization and navigation through innovations in both sensing and control. The proposed research will involve with:
1. The development of high-accuracy 3D optical vision sensors for small-light UAVs. This work will study how to miniaturize the high-speed and high-accuracy 3D sensing technologies developed in Professor Song Zhang’s laboratory for small-light UAVs considering the limited loading capacity, computational power, space, etc.
2. The development of novel computational methods for sensing data fusion and analytics. Sensing data includes the advanced 3D vision sensor, along with other sensing modalities (e.g., gyros, 2D vision) that are currently available on UAVs. 
3. The development of learning-based control and optimization of small-light UAVs in unknown environment subject to disturbances using aforementioned advanced sensing technologies
Start Date
August 1, 2019
Postdoc Qualifications
Candidates should have earned a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field. The successful candidate will have experience in performing both software and hardware development. Experience with image/video processing and control is desirable. Candidate should have a strong publication record with strong motivations to pursue an academic career. Outstanding communication skills and ability to work in team are desired.
Song Zhang
School of Mechanical Engineering
Dengfeng Sun
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
1. T. Bell, J. Allebach, and S. Zhang, “Holostream: High-accuracy, high-speed 3D range video encoding and streaming across standard wireless networks,” IS&T International Symposium on Electronic Imaging, Burlingame, California, (6 pages), 2018
2. J.-S. Hyun, G. T.-T. Chiu, and S. Zhang, “High-speed and high-accuracy 3D surface measurement using a mechanical projector,” Optics Express 26(2), 1474-1487 (2018)
3. B. Li, Y. An, D. Cappelleri, J. Xu, and S. Zhang, “High-accuracy, high-speed 3D structured light imaging techniques and potential applications to intelligent robotics,” International Journal of Intelligent Robotics and Applications, 1(1), 83-91 (2017)
4. A. Elmahdi, A. F. Taha, D. Sun, and J. H. Panchal, “Decentralized Control Framework and Stability Analysis for Networked Control Systems,” ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, 137(5), 051006-051006-11(2015) 
5. A. F. Taha, A. Elmahdi, J. H. Panchal, and D. Sun, “Unknown Input Observer Design and Analysis for Networked Control Systems,” International Journal of Control, 88(5), 920-934 (2015)