News

  1. Professor John Valasek selected as 2017 AIAA Fellow

    Dr. John Valasek
    Dr. John Valasek, a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been selected by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) as a 2017 AIAA Fellow. The AIAA confers the distinction of Fellow upon 1 percent of its members in recognition of their notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences or technology of aeronautics and astronautics.

    Valasek is being cited for “Pioneering contributions and outstanding leadership in flight mechanics and control leading to new capabilities in autonomous air refueling, morphing flight, and flight safety.”

    “The work and leadership of the AIAA Fellows and Honorary Fellows consistently ensures that today’s aerospace dreams become tomorrow’s realities,” said AIAA President Jim Maser. “They are individuals who have each shown a tireless dedication to shaping the future of aerospace. AIAA congratulates the members of the 2017 Class of Fellows and Honorary Fellows on their selection."

    The induction ceremony will take place at the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala on May 3 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
  2. Kelli Pickett Hired by the Naval Air Systems Command

    Kelli Pickett
    VSCL Undergraduate Research Assistant Kelli Pickett has accepted a position with the Naval Air Systems Command, China Lake, CA. Kelli will be part of the Engineer and Scientist Development Program (ESDP) working as a flight test engineer. Kelli will graduate with a B.S. in aerospace engineering in May 2017. She has conducted research for VSCL since Spring 2016, focusing on systems integration, flight testing and simulation. Projects have included Texas A&M AgriLife Precision Agriculture with UAS and online system identification of UAS. Kelli is also responsible for leading, organizing, and managing flight operations for UAS test and data collection flights.
  3. Research: Fault-Tolerant Adaptive Model Inversion Control for Vision-Based Autonomous Air Refueling of UAS

    Dr. John Valasek
    VSCL researchers Professor John Valasek (VSCL and CANVASS Director) and Douglas Famularo (Ph.D. student) are designing the next generation of Fault-Tolerant Adaptive Model Inversion Control for Vision-Based Autonomous Air Refueling and a paper on their most recent work will appear soon in the Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics. The principle investigation of the program is to develop and demonstrate a fault-tolerant structured-adaptive-model-inversion controller integrated with a reliable relative-position sensor for autonomous air-refueling scenarios using the probe-and-drogue method. Testing and simulation has demonstrated that the integrated controller/sensor system can provide successful docking in the presence of system uncertainties for a specified class of control-effector failures.
  4. Research Snapshot: VSCL Developing Multi-Vehicle Control System Communications Framework

    Clark
    VSCL is investigating a multi-vehicle control systems as a response to the ever increasing need for cooperation between multiple autonomous systems. As a foundation to controlling multiple autonomous vehicles simultaneously, VSCL has begun work on a communications framework named CLARK. CLARK features a fully distributed wireless network and an interface for quickly connecting multiple payloads such as visible imaging cameras and image processing computers. CLARK provides modularity for quick changes in control scheme while maintaining all control resources onboard the vehicles. It is anticipated that CLARK will serve as the foundation for multi-agent controllers based on deep reinforcement learning. Working on this project is MS student Cameron Rogers, Ph.D. candidate Vinicius Goecks, undergraduate research assistants Charles Noren and Preetam Palchuru, and Dr. John Valasek. Preliminary flight testing is expected to start in the early Spring of 2017.
  5. Document Update: 24 Years after initial publication, NASA-CR-1954608: An Investigation of Fighter Aircraft Agility is featured

    YF-23
    Initially published in 1993, a report written by Principal Investigator, David Downing, and John Valasek over Fighter Aircraft Agility has been added to the VSCL Website. The report discusses different fighter aircraft agility metrics and analyzes the fit of those metrics in different applications and tests. Vehicles considered in the study include the F-5A, F-16A, F-18A, and the X-29A. In order to assist in the analysis of fighter aircraft, this tool has been digitized and added to the VSCL server for download. Please visit the publications tab, or click the following link, in order to download NASA-CR-1954608: An Investigation of Fighter Aircraft Agility.
  6. Bridget Church Selected for Summer Internship with Lockheed Martin Corporation during Summer 2017

    Church
    VSCL Undergraduate Research Assistant and B.S. Aerospace Engineering student Bridget Church has been selected for a Summer 2017 internship at Lockheed Martin Corporation, Fort Worth, TX. Bridget will be working as a Manufacturing Engineer on the F-35 Lightening II Program. She will be performing a range of tasks on the Operations and Production team. Bridget has been an active member for VSCL since Spring 2016, analyzing the stability and control derivatives and characteristics of UAS.
  7. Research Snapshot: VSCL Partnering with VivatronX to Sponsor AggiE-Challenge 'Railbot'

    VivatronX
    VSCL has partnered with Dr. Gary Viviani to develop a rail based autonomous robot focused on improving railroad safety. The first portion of this program focuses on simulating train - Railbot interaction, and will be the study of an AggiE-Challenge team featuring engineers from multiple disciplines. Simulations of a relative spacing controller between the train and the Railbot are being conducted in both a MATLAB/SIMULINK environment and on a small rover. Working on this project is MS student Cameron Rogers, undergraduate research assistants Kendra Andersen, Kanika Gakhar, Charles Noren, Angela Olinger, Preetam Palchuru, and Dr. John Valasek. The Railbot team will be presenting its findings at the 2017 Texas A&M Engineering Exposition and is currently drafting a paper for the ASEE Conference in Colombus, Ohio.
  8. Robert Clever Hired by Lockheed-Martin Corporation

    Clever
    VSCL Undergraduate Research Assistant Robert Clever has accepted a position with Lockheed Martin Corporation, Fort Worth, TX. Robert will be working on avionics and mission systems as a systems integration/test engineer on the F-35 Lightning II. Robert will graduate with an B.S. in aerospace engineering in May 2017. He has conducted research for VSCL since Summer 2014, focusing on systems integration, flight testing and simulation. Projects have included Texas A&M AgriLife Precision Agriculture, AFRL Tailless Flight Control, and preliminary research on a flight control system architecture for the lab.
  9. Cameron Rogers Hired by the Boeing Company

    Rogers
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and M.S. candidate Cameron Rogers (B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University) has accepted a position with the Boeing Company, Seal Beach, CA. Cameron will be working on space systems as a system development/integration engineer. Cameron will graduate with an M.S. in aerospace engineering in Summer 2017, with his thesis titled "A Heterogeneous Multi-Agent Distributed Control Framework With Integrated Wireless And Wired Communication Links For Outdoor Operation." He has conducted research in the VSCL since Fall 2015.
  10. VSCL Graduate Research Assistants present papers at 2017 AIAA SciTech Conference

    Scitech
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidates Douglas Famularo (B.S. Engineering Physics, M.Eng. Systems Engineering, Cornell University) and Dipanjan Saha (B.S., M.S. Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur) presented papers at the 2017 AIAA SciTech Conference in Grapevine, TX on 12 January 2017. Famularo presented the paper “Observer-Based Feedback Adaptive Control for Nonlinear Hypersonic Vehicles,” and Saha presented the paper “Two-Time-Scale Slow and Fast State Tracking of an F-16 Using Slow and Fast Controls”. Famularo and Saha have been VSCL researchers since 2013.
  11. Research: VSCL Completes Research Project on the Characterization of Derived Angle-of-Attack and Flight Path Angle Algorithms

    Zeke with Anaconda UAS
    VSCL has completed a project which seeks to exploit derived angle-of-attack (AOA, α) and flightpath angles (γ) from low cost Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) COTS systems found in GA aircraft. The aircraft considered were Part 23 aircraft (such as C-172, Cirrus SR-22, Lancair 350 and light jets). In addition, hybrid aircraft (Part 23 and part 27) were also considered. The COTS AHRS was one typically found in aircraft and included 3 systems, 1 of each from the following categories. 1) Installed AHRS (such as Garmin, Aspen, Avidyne) 2) Portable AHRS (such as iLevil, Stratus, Sagetech) 3) Low Cost AHRS typically found on UAV’s (such as Pixhawk, Airware). Phase I consisted of an offline simulation study in the context of intended function, and benchmarks of existing sensors. Algorithm inputs were generated by researchers conducting a piloted simulation in the VSCL Engineering Flight Simulator.
  12. VSCL awarded Phase II research project from Air Force Research Laboratory on adaptive control of hypersonic air vehicles

    Famularo and Whitney
    The VSCL has been awarded a Phase II contract from the Air Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory to research to extend the previous work and develop state-constraint enforcement methods for an adaptive nonlinear dynamic inversion architecture that can handle inlet unstarts. Working on this project are Ph.D. candidate Douglas Famularo (B.S. Engineering Physics, M.Eng. Systems Engineering, Cornell University) and Undergraduate Research Assistant Sean G. Whitney, a Senior Honors Aerospace Engineering major from Frisco, Texas pursuing a minor in Mathematics. Upon graduation, in addition to a Master's of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering, he will have earned a rated commission as a Second Lieutenant and Pilot Candidate in the United States Air Force.
  13. James Henrickson Presents Paper at the 27th International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies (ICAST 2016)

    James Henrickson
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate James Henrickson (B.S., M.S., Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University) presented a paper titled "Tensegrity Engineering for Minimal Mass Morphing Airfoils." The work stems from his dissertation research focused on developing and applying tensegrity engineering principles in the context of a morphing wing structure. The conference was held at the Sagamore Resort in Lake George, NY, on 3-5 October, 2016. Henrickson has been a VSCL researcher since 2010, working on enabling technologies for adaptive aerospace structures. His interests include modeling, simulation, and control of dynamical systems, tensegrity engineering, and computational intelligence.
  14. VSCL Developing Novel Morphing Wing Technology Using Tensegrity Structures

    Famularo and Whitney
    VSCL researchers Jim Henrickson (Ph.D. student) and Professor John Valasek (VSCL and CANVASS Director) in a collaborative effort with Professor Robert E. Skelton (TEES Distinguished Research Professor), are developing novel modeling, simulation, and analysis methodologies focused on the design of a morphing tensegrity wing. The objective is to identify a lightweight tensegrity wing topology that satisfies aerodynamic and structural performance requirements while allowing shape transformation between desired airfoil shapes. This effort represents a new paradigm with respect to the design of adaptive aerospace structures, promising a new generation of lightweight, deployable, and shape-changing structures. Beyond the focus on a morphing wing application, the scope of this work includes advancing the state of the art of modeling tensegrity structures by including string masses, gyros, and elastic skin, and developing a general purpose MATLAB toolbox intended to facilitate the modeling and simulation of tensegrity systems. Heavily involved with this work is Jim Henrickson, who has been involved with the VSCL since 2010 and recently completed a 6-month internship at NASA JPL.
  15. Professor John Valasek Awarded University Professorship for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE)

    Dr. John Valasek
    Professor John Valasek was named the holder of the Thaman Professorship at the 2016 Undergraduate Convocation held 28 August. The professorship is for a period of three years and carries a $5,000 annual salary supplement as well as an annual discretionary income of $5,000 to support his teaching program and related professional development. Valasek will develop a series of short learning videos for aerospace students based upon the highly regarded Khan Academy model. In the first year he will develop videos for the junior level dynamics of aerospace vehicles course. In the second year he will develop videos for dynamics and control courses, and in the third year he will develop videos for a variety of courses in the department.
  16. Professor John Valasek Chairs Workshop on Intelligent Systems at NASA Langley Research Center

    Dr. John Valasek
    Professor John Valasek chaired the third intelligent systems workshop for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The three-day workshop is organized by the AIAA Intelligent Systems Technical Committee, which Valasek has been an active member of for nine years. The purpose of the workshop is to develop a roadmap for advancing intelligent systems technologies into the aerospace domain. This year’s workshop was held from held from 3-5 August and brought together 165 experts from the government, industry, and academia as well as from outside the aerospace domain. All presentations that have been cleared for public release are now available under the Shared Documents section of the ISTC website, under the "2016 IS Workshop" folder.
  17. Dipanjan Saha Presents Paper at 10th IFAC Symposium on Nonlinear Control Systems (NOLCOS 2016)

    Dipanjan Saha
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate Dipanjan Saha (B.S., M.S. Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur) presented a paper titled “Observer-Based Sequential Control of a Nonlinear Two-Time-Scale System with Multiple Slow and Fast States,” The work is based upon his dissertation research on nonlinear control of multiple time-scale systems. The conference was held in Monterey, CA on 24 August 2016.
  18. Research: VSCL Completes Two Year Research Project on Advanced UAS and Sensor Systems for Precision Agriculture

    Zeke with Anaconda UAS
    The Center for Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems (CANVASS), VSCL, and the Center for Geospatial Sciences, Applications and Technology (GEOSAT) at Texas A&M University teamed on a multidisciplinary project titled “Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Remote Sensing at the Texas A&M Farm.” The goal of the project is two-fold: to investigate and develop new technologies that will take precision agriculture to the next level; and enable breeders to accelerate crop improvements by using UAS for high-throughput phenotyping. Utilizing an airborne hyperspectral imaging sensor, multispectral imaging sensors, a thermal infrared camera, a visible imaging camera and a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system, the researchers collect systematic surface imagery and sensor data over the farm. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a Certificate of Authorization (COA) that grants Texas A&M researchers permission to fly UAS over the 3,200 acre Texas A&M Brazos Bottoms Farm. Located near College Station, Texas, the farm supports an array of projects for agricultural scientists. A total of 132 data collection autonomous flights were conducted in the field during a 14 month span.
  19. Cameron Rogers and Joshua Harris Present Papers at 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS'16)

    Rogers and Harris
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and M.S. candidate Cameron Rogers (B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University) and Joshua Harris (B.S. Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University) presented papers at the 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS'16) in Arlington, VA, on 7 June 2016. Rogers presented the paper “Infrastructure Assessment with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” and Harris presented the paper “Aircraft System Identification using Artificial Neural Networks with Flight Test Data,” Harris has been a VSCL researcher since 2010, applying intelligent systems to problems in the realm of flight dynamics and controls. Harris's interests include the use of intelligent and adaptive systems for robust flight control, intelligent systems identification methods, cooperative and multi-agent control, and integrated systems health management for aircraft and spacecraft.
  20. Douglas Famularo awarded GNC Internship at L-3 Unmanned Systems for Summer 2016

    Douglas Famularo
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate Douglas Famularo (B.S. Engineering Physics, M.Eng. Systems Engineering, Cornell University) has been awarded the Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineering Internship at L-3 Unmanned Systems in Plano, Texas. Douglas will be working with VSCL alumnus Dallas Hopper to help with the innovative design, test and manufacture of unmanned aerial vehicles. Douglas has conducted research in the VSCL since 2013.
  21. Sean Whitney Selected for Air Armament Scholars Summer Program at Eglin Air Force Base during Summer 2016

    Sean Whitney
    Sean G. Whitney is a Senior Honors Aerospace Engineering major pursuing a minor in Mathematics from Frisco, Texas. Upon graduation, in addition to a Master's of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering, he will have earned a rated commission as a Second Lieutenant and Pilot Candidate in the United States Air Force.

    This summer, Sean will be working at Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida participating in the Air Armament Scholars summer program. He will be working with Dr. Anton VanderWyst on the project “Stable Mathematics for High Dimensional Uncertainty,” which consists of using the Generic Hypersonic Vehicle (GHV) six-degree-of-freedom (6DOF) simulation to examine how computational model input uncertainties impact overall vehicle performance. Sean will work with local aerospace guidance/navigation/control (GNC) disciplines to evaluate different methods for dealing with moderate-dimensional algorithms. Specific techniques that will be introduced include mathematical numeric stability, uncertainty quantification (UQ), Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) estimation and Bayesian networks.
  22. Zeke Bowden Selected for Summer Internship at Insitu during Summer 2016

    Zeke Bowden
    VSCL Undergraduate Research Assistant and B.S. Aerospace Engineering student Ezekiel Bowden has been selected for a Summer 2016 Undergraduate Student Internship at Insitu, Hood River, OR. Ezekiel will be working on a variety of avionics and sensor systems for Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), as well as UAS flight testing. Insitu is a pioneer in the design, development, production and operation of high-performance, cost-effective unmanned aircraft systems. Ezekiel’s mentor will be Jesse Kiewit. Ezekiel has conducted research on UAS design, payload integration, and flight testing in the VSCL since Spring 2015.
  23. Lexi Heinimann Awarded 2016 Aerospace States Association scholarship

    Lexi Heinimann
    Lexi Heinimann, a sophomore in Aerospace Engineering and a member of VSCL, was awarded the 2016 Aerospace States Association (ASA) scholarship. Each year ASA presents two scholarships nationwide to students who are pursuing study in the fields of aeronautics and aviation. Rockwell Collins sponsors the scholarship. Heinimann is interested in flight testing, and has participated in VSCL research on Unmanned Air Systems in addition to general aviation flight safety for the FAA.
  24. Joshua Harris to join the AIAA Intelligent Systems Technical Committee.

    Joshua Harris
    VSCL Graduate Research assistant Joshua Harris has been selected to join the AIAA Intelligent Systems Technical Committee. Harris has been a VSCL researcher since 2010, applying intelligent systems to problems in the realm of flight dynamics and controls. Harris's interests include the use of intelligent and adaptive systems for robust flight control, intelligent systems identification methods, cooperative and multi-agent control, and integrated systems health management for aircraft and spacecraft.

    The ISTC addresses the application of Intelligent System (IS) technologies and methods to aerospace systems, the verification and validation of these systems, and the education of the AIAA membership in the use of IS technologies in aerospace and other technical disciplines.
  25. Dr. Anshu Narang-Siddarth Receives NSF CAREER Award

    Anshu Narang-Siddarth
    VSCL Postdoctoral Research Associate and former VSCL Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistant Dr. Anshu Narang-Siddarth (Ph.D. '12) has received the NSF CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for her project "CAREER: Breakthroughs in Dynamical Modeling and Control for Reduction of Catastrophic Aviation Accidents.". Dr. Narang-Siddarth is an Assistant Professor in the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Narang-Siddarth’s research focuses on aspects of dynamic modeling, control and safety assurance problems unique to autonomous aerospace vehicles.
  26. Cameron Rogers selected for Graduate Student Internship at Innovative Signal Analysis Inc. during Summer 2016

    Cameron Rogers
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and M.S. candidate Cameron Rogers (B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University) has been selected for a Summer 2016 Graduate Student Internship at Innovative Signal Analysis. Cameron will be working on a variety of avionics systems for Unmanned Air Systems (UAS). Innovative Signal Analysis is a provider of high performance signal and image processing solutions using state of the art optical, digital, and analog technology. Cameron’s mentor will be Chuck Meadow. Cameron has conducted research in the VSCL starting Fall 2015.
  27. James Henrickson named Aerospace Industrial Fellow for 2016, to Internship at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory during Spring 2016

    James Henrickson
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate James Henrickson (B.S., M.S., Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University) has been named an inaugural Aerospace Research Fellow. James will spending his Spring semester at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the 2016 NIAC research team on the Trans-Formers for Lunar Extreme Environments: Ensuring Long-Term Operations in Regions of Darkness and Low Temperatures Project. Jame’s mentors will be Dr. Adrian Stoica and Dr. Marco Quadrelli. James has conducted research in the VSCL since 2010.
  28. Dipanjan Saha named College of Engineering Graduate Teaching Fellow for Spring 2016

    Dipanjan Saha
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate Dipanjan Saha (B.S., M.S. Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur) has been named a College of Engineering Graduate Teaching Fellow for Spring 2016. Dipanjan will be the instructor of record for AERO 321 Dynamics of Flight Vehicles, and will be responsible for all course engagement with students. He will be under the supervision of Dr. John Valasek, who will provide mentorship and guidance. The Graduate Teaching Fellows Program awards approximately ten engineering students per semester to students who are committed to a career in academia. The fellowship consists of teaching instruction in addition to practical experience in the classroom. Dipanjan has conducted research in the VSCL since 2013.
  29. A new Ph.D. students join the Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory for Fall 2015

    Jack Lu

    Han-Hsun "Jack" Lu is a 2014 M.S. engineering science graduate of National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.
  30. Douglas Famularo awarded Graduate Summer Fellowship to join Air Force Research Laboratory for Summer 2015

    Douglas Famularo
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate Douglas Famularo (B.S., M.S. Engineering Physics, Cornell University) has been awarded a Summer Fellowship to conduct research in the Control Design and Analysis Branch of the Aerospace Systems Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. Douglas will be working with Dr. Jonathan Muse and Dr. Michael Bollender on extendding his research on Adaptive Control of Air Breathing Hypersponic Vehicles that he started last summer at AFRL. Douglas has conducted research in the VSCL since 2013.
  31. Frank Arthurs selected as exchange student to conduct research on Sense & Avoid for Unmanned Air Systems in Summer 2015

    Frank Arthurs
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate Frank Arthurs (B.S. Aerospace Engineering, Embry-Riddle University) will be an exchange student working with Dr. Amit Sanyal of the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Las Cruces, NM. Frank will be researching and developing novel methods for Sense & Avoid for Unmanned Air Systems. Frank has conducted research in the VSCL since 2013.


  32. James Henrickson a Reciprocal Exchange Research Student with BYU MAGGIC LAB during March 2015

    James Henrickson
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate James Henrickson (B.S., M.S., Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University) will be a reciprocal exchange research student working with Dr. Randal W. Beard of the MAGGIC LABat Brigham Young Unviersity, Provo UT. Furing ten days in March, James will be researching motion video tracking methods for Unmanned Air Systems that are tracking stationary and moving objects of interest. James has conducted research in the VSCL since 2010.


  33. James Henrickson and Professor John Valasek Help Define New Space Micro-Environment Architecture at Keck Institute for Space Studies Workshop

    Valasek
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate James Henrickson (B.S., M.S., Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University) and Professor John Valasek participated in a Keck Institute for Space Studies workshop titled Adaptive Multi-Functional Space Structures for Micro-Climate Control II from 17-20 February 2015 on the Cal Tech campus.

    The technical goal is to identify the most efficient materials, architectures, structures and means of deployment/reconfiguration, system autonomy and energy management solutions needed to optimally project/generate a micro-environment around space assets. This novel solution is called an energy-projecting system (EPS). For example, compact packed thin-layer reflective structures unfolding to large areas, can reflect solar energy, warming and illuminating assets such as exploration rovers on Mars or human habitats on the Moon.

    The primary benefit of this study is to enable missions that would otherwise be too technologically challenging and/or expensive, in particular those that would involve long periods of time without direct solar input or RTGs, the availability of which may be limited in the future.
  34. Professor John Valasek named 2015 Outstanding Aerospace Educator by ASEE/AIAA

    Valasek
    The American Socieity for Engineerg Education (ASEE) and the American Institute of Aeronuatics and Astronautics (AIAA) haved jointly awarded Professor John Valasek the 2015 John Leland Atwood Award in honor of his outstanding work with students at Texas A&M University as well as his research and service contributions to the aerospace profession. The award was presented at the 2015 AIAA SciTech Conference in Kissimmee, FL.

    Details of the award citation and remarks by Professor Valasek can be viewed HERE.

    Professor Valasek joins previous recipients of the Leland Atwood Award in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University: Stan H. Lowy (1977), John L. Junkins (1988), Walter E. Haisler (1990), Leland A. Carlson (1997), and Helen L. Reed (2007).
  35. Samantha Hansen and Ravenne Arce graduate and start careers with Bell Helicopter in January 2015

    HansenValasekArce
    VSCL Udergraduate Research Assistants Samantha Hansen'14 and Ravenne Arce'14 (B.S. Aerospace Engineering, Texas A& University) graduated in December 2014 and began careers with Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, TX. Hansen is working in the Quality Engineering group and Arce is working in the Flight Test Data Operations group. Hansen has has conducted research in the VSCL since 2013, and Arce since 2014.



  36. An Industry First: Certified ADS-B System Integrated and flown in an Unmanned Aircraft System in Partnership with VSCL

    Pegasus II
    The VSCL has teamed with FreeFlight Systems of Waco, TX to conduct the first flight test of an ADS-B equipped UAS in the national airspace. On 3 November 2014 the VSCL flew the fully certified, STC and TSO solution RANGR 978 ADS-B unit on the Pegasus II UAS at the Texas A&M University Riverside Range. Full details of the flight including video can be viewed HERE.

    Support for the project was provided by the Texsas A&M Engineering Experiment Station's Technical Assistance Program, headed by Dr. Dale Cope.

  37. Professor John Valasek interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) and television about UAS research and applications

    Valasek
    National Public Radio interviewed Professor John Valasek about the recent awarding of six Unmanned Air System Test Centers by the Federal Aviation Adminisration (FAA). Professor Valasek is a founding member of one of the six centers, the Lone Star UAS Center (LSUASC) located in Texas, and the interview focused on the research LSUASC will be conducting, and future acceptance and use of UAS in the U.S.

    The NPR interview can be heard by clicking on the Listen Now button below the UAS picture HERE.

    The television interview can be viewed HERE.
  38. Joshua Harris awarded National Defense Science and Enginering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) for 2014

    Josh Harris
    VSCL Undergraduate Research Assistant Joshua Harris (B.S. '14) has been awarded a National Defense Science Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) for 2014. The Department of Defense (DoD) plans to award approximately 200 new three-year graduate fellowships in April 2014, with approximately 12 being awarded to students in aerospace engineeirng. The DoD will offer these fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering. Joshua has conducted resarch in the VSCL for the last four years, and has worked on all major projects during this time. Joshua will graduate with his B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering in May 2014.

    The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship is a highly competitive, portable fellowship that is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of fifteen supported disciplines. NDSEG confers high honors upon its recipients, and allows them to attend whichever U.S. institution they choose. NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance (this excludes dental and vision insurance).

  39. Joshua Harris elected Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Senior for 2014

    Josh Harris
    VSCL Undergraduate Research Assistant Joshua Harris (B.S. '14) has been elected the aerospace engineering department's Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Senior for 2014. Joshua was elected to this standing by his student peers in the Texas A&M University chapter of Sigma Gamma Tau, the aerospace engineering honor society. He has conducted resarch in the VSCL for the last four years, and has worked on all major projects during this time. Joshua will graduate with his B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering in May 2014.

    The Texas A&M chapter of SGT focuses largely on service. Members mentor freshmen and assist students in sophomore, junior, and occasionally senior level aerospace engineering courses through tutoring and review sessions. Additionally, SGT organizes departmental socials and helps new and prospective aerospace engineering students. SGT is also involved with the community through participation in service activities, food drives, visits to local middle schools and high schools to enlighten students about engineering. SGT also provides interactive exhibits, such as wind tunnels and flight simulators for Discover Engineering, E-Day, the Physics and Engineering Festival, and other Texas A&M College of Engineering events.

  40. Tim Woodbury awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

    Tim Woodbury
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant Tim Woodbury (B.S. '11, M.S. '14) has been awarded a 2013 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP). Tim's research interest is Autonomous Systems and Robotics, and he is currently conducting UAS research in Autonomous Soaring, Motion Video Tracking, and Digital Autoland Systems. Tim will graduate with his M.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering in Spring 2014. He is the 12th VSCL Graduate Research Assistant to be awarded an NSF or NDSEG or SMART Fellowship.



  41. Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory alumni receive academic positions starting Fall 2013

  42. Dr. Anshu-Narang Siddarth receives two awards for excellence in Ph.D. research

    Dr. Anshu Narang-Siddarth
    VSCL Postdoctoral Research Associate and former VSCL Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistant Dr. Anshu Narang-Siddarth (Ph.D. '12) has received two awards in 2013 for her Ph.D. disseration titled "Analysis and Control of Non-Affine, Non-Standard Singularly Perturbed Systems". The first award is at the University level, and is presented for excellence in research at the doctoral level. Only five doctoral students across all majors of Texas A&M University receive this prestigous award each year. The second award is at the Department level, and was awarded for Outstanding Ph.D. Research by a Dynamics & Control Ph.D. Student. Dr. Narang-Siddarth's disseration addresses the problem of control for nonlinear multiple time-scale systems using insights from singular perturbation theory for the first time in a systematic manner. The theory of feedback passivation for non-affine systems along with novel hierarchical design procedure is synthesized and performance of these methods is validated for several problems from science and engineering, including manned and unmanned aerospace systems, magnetic levitation system and chemical reactors.
  43. Three new Ph.D. students join the Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory for Fall 2013

    • Frank Arthurs is a 2013 B.S. aerospace engineering graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL.
    • Douglas Famularo is a 2012 B.S. engineering physics and 2013 M.Eng. systems engineering graduate of Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
    • Dipanjan Saha is a 2012 dual degree B. Tech. (Hons.) in Instrumentation Engineering and a M. Tech. in Control Systems Engineering graduate of the electrical engineering department of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India.
  44. James Henrickson awarded 2013 summer research fellowship at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    James Henrickson
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant James Henrickson has been awarded a 2013 summer resesarch fellowship by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He will spend his summer at JPL working with the Spacecraft Systems Engineering section in support of the DARPA Phoenix program. Jim's research interests are in the area of Computational Intelligence, and he is currently conducting research on Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) characterization using Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), and UAS research on Autonomous Motion Video Tracking. Jim will graduate with his M.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering in Spring 2014. He will then continue on working towards a Ph.D. degree with Professor John Valasek.
  45. Jim May joins Boeing Defense, Space & Security

    Jim May
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant Jim May (B.S. '08, M.S. '13) has joined Boeing Defense, Space & Security as a Software Engineer, working on the Commercial Crew Transportation System (CCTS) CST-100 space vehicle. He runs the Training Systems Integration Lab (TSIL) as part of Crew and Training Operations team inside the Crew and Mission Operations group for the CCTS program. TSIL develops and executes pilot, controller, and trainer-in-the-loop cockpit and control console simulations for CST-100.


  46. Andrew Beckett Joins SpaceX

    Andrew Beckett
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant Andrew Beckett (B.S. '07, M.S. '12) has joined SpaceX as a Guidance, Navigation, and Control Responsible Engineer. He is responsible for acceptance and qualification test programs for the GNC hardware used in all of SpaceX's products, providing support for vehicle GNC systems, supporting new product development, and other duties as assigned.




  47. Dr. Ryan Weisman joins Air Force Research Laboratory

    Ryan Weisman
    VSCL Graduate Research Assistant Dr. Ryan Weisman (Ph.D. '12) has joined the Space Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM. Ryan is a Research Aerospace Engineer in the Guidance, Navigation, and Controls group. His research interests include nonlinear filtering, uncertainty quantification, system identification, perturbation methods, and modeling of dynamical systems.




  48. Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory researchers receive honors in 2012

  49. Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory Alumnus Dr. Monish Tandale (MS '02, PhD '06) Interviewed on NBC TechNow for GPU- Accelerated Air Traffic Management Research

    Dr. Monish Tandale

    Dr. Monish Tandale, a Research Scientist at Optimal Synthesis Inc. (OSI), based in Los Altos, California, is researching techniques to predict the "4-Dimensional Trajectory (4DT)" for every aircraft in the National Airspace. A 4DT describes the 3-dimensional position ( latitude, longitude, altitude) of aircraft at regular time intervals (time is the 4th dimension). In the paradigm of 4DT operations, all air traffic control decisions are performed based on the predicted 4DT, i.e. the predicted position of the aircraft in the future. This project resulted in the development of CARPAT™ (Computational Appliance for Rapid Prediction of Aircraft Trajectories).

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