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Research Areas

LAND

Rovers and Manipulators

- Develop and operate numerous land rovers and robotic manipulators to support research, education and outreach.

Multi-Robot Systems Research

- Development of a new, innovative formation control technique known as cluster space control.

- Developing and extending several advanced techniques for the collaborative control of multi-robot systems. Establishing several hardware-in-the-loop testbeds for experimental validation.

- Sponsors and collaborators include the National Science Foundation, NASA, and several academic partners.

Design & Operations Research

- Development of composable, multi-physics modeling frameworks and tools to support enhanced lifecycle design and rapid deployment of a variety of land, sea, air and space missions.

- A networked mission development center will support distributed design teams

- New model-based algorithms are being used to perform high performance anomaly detection, diagnosis and resolution

SEA

Marine Robots

- Design, development and operation of numerous marine robots, to include tethered ROVs, untethered AUVs, and autonomous surface vessels.

Advanced Marine Technology

- Develop and field innovative component and subsystem technologies to improve performance of marine systems.

- A novel, highly robust AUV thruster system with improved hydrodynamic performance and fault tolerance capable of sustaining long duration operations under the polar ice caps

- Advanced control systems for teleoperated manipulators and sampling systems.

World Class Science Missions

- A leader in conducting marine science operations along the U.S. West Coast, the Arctic, and inland bodies such as Lake Tahoe.

- World class partners and sponsors include NOAA, the National Marine Sanctuary, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and other academic institutions.

- Missions have included marine archaeology, geology, biology, chemistry, and habitat studies.

AIR

Aerial Robots

- Develop a variety of low-cost aerial vehicles to include aircraft, blimps, aerostats, and high altitude balloons. Operating altitudes of these platforms range from 0 - 100,000+ feet.

- Platforms support numerous civil and science missions ranging from atmospheric physics to remote sensing to environmental monitoring.

Advanced Instrumentation

- Design, develop and deploy advanced payloads capable of producing compelling data while deployed on low-cost university class platforms.

Advanced Control Systems

- Development of advanced control systems for aerial vehicles ranging from autopilots to formation controller to autonomous target tracking.

- Demonstrations on several 84" wingspan UAVs have included autonomous take-off and landing, waypoint-based navigation, and automated "follow-the-leader" formation flight.

- Aircraft are certified for test flight at NASA’s Moffett Field and the Navy's Webster Field.

SPACE

Small Satellite Projects

- Develop a variety of student-engineered small satellites, and team with government and industry partners to develop more sophisticated spacecraft.

Distributed Avionics Technology

- A distributed command & data handling system for modular, rapid space system development

- In use for several university missions: FASTRAC, ONYX, Akoya, and ModSat

Launch Services

- Expertise in the development of sounding rockets, launch adapters and carriers, and launch integration processing.

Mission Operations

- A comprehensive mission operations network supports university-class satellites. The network includes a centralized mission control complex and six geographically distributed communication stations linked via the internet.

- The network also supports funded research for advanced command and control technologies. Sponsors and partners in this work include NSF, NASA, NOAA, and several industrial partners.







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