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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Control Systems for Air Force Applications


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Aerospace Structures, Aerodynamics, and Flight Controls

RO# Location
13.30.07.B3817 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337542


Name E-mail Phone
Bolender, Michael A 937.713.7023
Casbeer, David W 937.713.7037
Doman, David Burke 937.713.7003


We are committed to the aggressive development and transition of advanced air vehicle control technology to industry and the war fighter to improve total weapon system lethality, survivability, agility, performance, and affordability. Our long-term objective is to develop adaptive and autonomous control theories for the advancement of future Air Force flight vehicles.

Our current research focuses on autonomous and cooperative control of multiple unmanned air vehicles, guidance and control of air-breathing hypersonic vehicles, aircraft thermal management, and verification and validation of flight critical software. Specific research areas include (1) multi-objective optimization for cooperative mission planning involving heterogeneous unmanned vehicles interacting with one or more human operators; (2) cooperative ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) techniques for multiple vehicles to locate, identify, and track dynamic targets; (3) cooperative strategies for multiple, heterogeneous unmanned air vehicles performing coupled tasks, including the effects of realistic network communication systems, such as network latency and delays that result in different target state information on different parts of the distributed decision and control system; (4) autonomous and intelligent control algorithm development, including algorithms with the ability to learn improved responses to a dynamic environment; (5) algorithms for managing waste thermal energy in aircraft that use fuel as a heat sink; (6) energy efficient flight control; (7) development of guidance and control laws for air-breathing hypersonic vehicles that provide optimum maneuvering performance while accommodating engine operability and aerodynamic heating constraints; and (10) flight control algorithms for hypersonic vehicles that prevent departure from controlled flight during inlet un-start. Our goal is to develop and validate control algorithms through real-time, nonlinear simulations and experiments, and transition technology to benefit the war fighter.


Automated flight guidance; Optimization; Algorithms; Nonlinear programming; Cooperative control; Autonomous/distributed control; Hypersonic vehicle G&C; Aircraft thermal management; Verification and validation; Autonomy;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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