The field of autonomous systems and controls deals with the motion of flight vehicles in the atmosphere and in space, as well as dynamics, control, and planning issues related to flight and space applications. The department has a long history of excellence in the areas of flight dynamics and control systems. It was one of the first engineering departments in the nation to offer courses in automatic control, flight dynamics, and simulation.
The autonomous systems and controls specialization has a strong aerospace emphasis as illustrated by current research on aircraft dynamics, flight planning, flight control and autonomous flight; dynamics and control of attitude systems; astrodynamics; guidance, navigation and associated flight systems; flexible aerospace vehicles; and acoustics and flow control. There is a strong multidisciplinary systems orientation that emphasizes linear and nonlinear systems, optimization, feedback control, optimal planning and decision-making, stochastic processes and estimation and computational and software aspects of flight systems.
This specialization covers theory, experiments, and implementation issues, as well as the study of specific cutting-edge aerospace vehicles.