The Autonomous Aerospace Systems Laboratory (AASL) is directed by Professor Ella Atkins. AASL develops systems that can pilot or help to pilot flying vehicles. Example projects include the Flying Fish, an ocean-going unmanned aerial surveillance vehicle that can patrol a region of water. The team is also developing a system to help pilots react to emergency situations effectively, recommending flight paths that could allow a plane to land safely in spite of serious damage.
The Aerospace, Robotics and Controls (ARC) Laboratory is directed by Associate Professor Anouck Girard. Its mission is to research and develop key technologies for the collaborative control of multiple unmanned vehicles, adversarial strategies, operator-machine interaction, advanced mission planning and other aeronautical control sciences.
The Attitude Dynamics and Control Laboratory (ADCL), directed by Professor Dennis Bernstein, provides experimental facilities for research on the dynamics and control of complex attitude systems. The Laboratory is intended to contribute to theoretical and practical advances in spacecraft attitude dynamics and control problems. Two major experimental testbeds, the Air Spindle testbed and the Triaxial Attitude Control testbed, provide the core experimental facilities for the laboratory. These testbeds are the basis for a variety of research projects on attitude dynamics and control issues.
Research topics include:
The laboratory contains computers, instrumentation and other equipment that supports the various research investigations.
The Computational Fluid Dynamics Group (CFDG) is directed by Associate Professor Krzysztof Fidkowski. CFDG specializes in the development of robust, scalable, and adaptive solution techniques for computational fluid dynamics. Our work has involved a wide range of applications, such as aircraft drag prediction in subsonic and transonic flows, uncertainty quantification in nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulics codes, and probabilistic approach to contaminant source inversion to name a few. Current research topics of interest includes optimal mesh generation and adaptation, accurate error estimation, robust solvers for unsteady aerospace problems, and efficient use of advanced mathematical techniques and large-scale high-performance computing.
The Michigan Exploration Laboratory (MXL) is directed by Professor James Cutler. The team develops methods to calibrate and optimize sensors and systems on small satellites for space exploration. MXL also investigates whether distributed computing across global network of small satellite users could allow satellites to deliver more data to earth. Missions include the Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX), which studies plasmas in the atmosphere that are known to disrupt satellite communication with Earth.
The Vibration, Acoustics and Motion Control Laboratory provides facilities for conducting experiments in active feedback control. Research projects include active noise control, control of structural vibration and control of rotating imbalance. These experiments focus on the development of suitable hardware configurations for implementing feedback control algorithms, as well as robust, nonlinear and adaptive control algorithms. Relevant equipment includes SRS, Scientific Atlantia and Siglab spectrum analyzers for signal processing and system identification, dSPACE control boards for real-time controller implementation and code generation software for controller implementation.
An electric 6DOF shaker table is used for motion control experiments. This table has 2000 lbf capacity and is digitally controlled. A Polhemus sensor is used to measure 3-dimensional rotation and translation.
The Constellation University Institutes Project (CUIP) is a consortium of approximately 20 universities in the United States working through a cooperative agreement with NASA to focus on addressing key technical challenges of the NASA Constellation Program. To this end, the portfolio of CUIP is comprised of the following key technical areas, or virtual institutes (VIs):
NASA centers heavily involved in Constellation application of these technical areas are engaged in extensive technical collaboration with the university researchers through research tasks. This collaboration is integrated within the Constellation Program and occurs for Constellation Program Level II Offices, the Crew Launch Vehicle Project, the Crew Exploration Vehicle Project, the Lunar Lander Project and other Constellation Projects that are established over the course of the program. Ms. Claudia Meyer and Dr. Jeff Rybak are, respectively, NASA CUIP Manger and Deputy Manager.
There are over 50 baselined research task plans within the CUIP, of which the University of Michigan has the largest share, leading about 25% of the tasks and the budget. The Aero faculty members currently actively involved in the CUIP project include Professors Carlos Cesnik, Iain Boyd and Wei Shyy.
The François-Xavier Bagnoud Flight Vehicle Institute (FVI) was founded in 2007 with the generous support of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Association. An integral part of the Aerospace Engineering Department, the Institute focuses on research and educational topics motivated by flight vehicles in an educational setting. These topics are broad in scope and include issues related to airplanes, helicopters, rockets, satellites and interplanetary missions. The institute also sponsors workshops, scholarly reports, visiting researchers and guest lectures, including the François-Xavier Bagnoud Lecture in Aerospace Engineering.
The Michigan/AFRL Collaborative Center in Control Science (MACCCS or MAX) is directed by Professor Anouck Girard. It consists of university faculty members along with post-doctoral fellows and graduate students who conduct research in partnership with the Control Science Center of Excellence in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Air Vehicles Directorate. Current member universities include the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University.