Los Angeles, CA, United States
Los Angeles, CA, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

The real-time implementation of controls in nonlinear systems remains one of the great challenges in applying advanced control technology. Often, linearization around a set point is the only practical approach, and many controllers implemented in hardware systems are simple PID feedback mechanisms. To apply Pontryagin’s principle or Bellman’s equation using conventional hardware and algorithms for high dimensional nonlinear systems requires more computing power than is realistic. The success of linear control theory, especially certainty equivalence and LQG approaches, leads us to hope for additional gains from fully nonlinear controls. We propose an innovation in computational nonlinear control that offers ground breaking potential for real-time control applications, making fully nonlinear problems solvable with the computational efficiency of linear problems. Our Phase I effort will provide a proof-of-concept integrated hardware-software solution implementing max-plus arithmetic for efficient solution of nonlinear stochastic control problems. We have had success in implementing nonlinear deterministic controls in field programmable gate arrays, and we propose to extend those efforts to stochastic control in this effort. We will conduct research into the feasibility of applying max-plus arithmetic methods in the stochastic setting, coupling algorithms with innovative hardware for efficient solutions. BENEFIT: If this effort proves successful, it will revolutionize the field of control theory. The computational efficiency improvements we expect to see will permit fully nonlinear control techniques to be applied in crucial tracking and guidance systems and flight controls. Performance enhancements for unmanned systems will provide warfighters with greatly improved tools for surveillance and combat.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: The real-time implementation of controls in nonlinear systems remains one of the great challenges in applying advanced control technology. Often, linearization around a set point is the only practical approach, and many controllers implemented in hardware systems are simple PID feedback mechanisms. To apply Pontryagin"s principle or Bellman"s equation using conventional hardware and algorithms for high dimensional nonlinear systems requires more computing power than is realistic. The success of linear control theory, especially certainty equivalence and LQG approaches, leads us to hope for additional gains from fully nonlinear controls. We propose an innovation in computational nonlinear control that offers ground breaking potential for real-time control applications, making fully nonlinear problems solvable with the computational efficiency of linear problems. Our Phase II effort will focus on a prototype hardware-software solution implementing max-plus arithmetic for efficient solution of nonlinear control and optimization problems. The success of our two-pronged Phase I effort in devising efficient algorithms based on max-plus structure and in studying and simulating reconfigurable computing hardware solutions for efficient max-plus implementation suggests significant potential for this approach. The result of Phase II work will be a prototype solution, including a software development kit and an optimization co-processor, for solving nonlinear optimization and control problems efficiently. BENEFIT: If the feasibility studies of Phase I can be extended to a functional prototype in Phase II, the result will revolutionize the field of control theory. The computational efficiency improvements we expect to see will permit fully nonlinear control techniques to be applied in crucial tracking and guidance systems and flight controls. Performance enhancements for unmanned systems will provide warfighters with greatly improved tools for surveillance and combat.


Fitzpatrick B.G.,Tempest Technologies | Martinez J.,Tempest Technologies | Polidan E.,Tempest Technologies | Angelis E.,Tempest Technologies
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research | Year: 2016

Background: The application of social norms theory in the study of college drinking centers on the ideas that incorrect perceptions of drinking norms encourage problematic drinking behavior and that correcting misperceptions can mitigate problems. The design and execution of social norms interventions can be improved with a deeper understanding of causal mechanisms connecting misperception to drinking behavior. Methods: We develop an agent-based computational simulation that uses identity control theory and peer influence (PI) to model interactions that affect drinking. Using data from the College Alcohol Survey and Social Norms Marketing Research Project, we inform model parameters for agent drinking identities and perceptions. We simulate social norms campaigns that reach progressively larger fractions of the student population, and we consider the strength of the campaign in terms of changing student perception and resulting behavior. Results: We observe a general reduction in heavy episodic drinking (HED) as students are affected by the intervention. As campaigns reached larger fractions of students, the reduction rate diminishes, in some cases actually making a slight reverse. The way in which students "take the message to heart" can have a significant impact as well: The psychological factors involved in identity control and PI have both positive and negative effects on HED rates. With whom agents associate at drinking events also impacts drinking behavior and intervention effectiveness. Conclusions: Simulations suggest that reducing misperception can reduce HED. When agents adhere strongly to identity verification and when misperceptions affect identity appraisals, social norms campaigns can bring about large reductions. PI, self-monitoring, and socializing with like-drinking peers appear to moderate the effect. We developed an agent-based model using social and psychological processes to model interactions that affect drinking. We simulated social norms campaigns (SNMCs), modulating the strength of the campaign. We observed reductions in heavy episodic drinking, but as larger fractions of students were reached, the reduction rate diminished, in some cases making a slight reverse. How students "take the message to heart"can have a significant impact. We discuss how the social and psychological processes promote or moderate the campaign effects. © 2016 Research Society on Alcoholism.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2015

The computation and real-time implementation of controls in nonlinear systems remains one of the great challenges for applying optimal control theory in demanding aerospace and industrial systems. Often, linearization around a set point is the only practical approach, and many controllers implemented in hardware systems are simple linear feedback mechanisms. From proportional guidance in missiles to PID controllers for UAV flight controls to linear integrators in optical tracking, linear controls dominate much of current implementation. Output feedback is of course one important consideration: optimal controls determined from Pontryagins principle are generally open-loop. Computation is a second difficulty: use of Pontryagins principle, dynamic programming, or direct optimization methods using conventional computational designs in high dimensional nonlinear systems has been considered largely unrealistic. In this Phase I effort, we will develop real-time control algorithms that integrate the optimality of pseudospectral methods with robust state estimation for real-time closed loop optimal control.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Laser-based directed energy systems are often identified as being game-changing technologies in advancing the mission of the Air Force. Precision efforts, minimal collateral damage, rapid response, and nearly unlimited ammunition are compelling advantages to laser weapon systems. Among the primary challenges to development and deployment is beam control, identified in the 2007 report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Directed Energy Weapons and the more recent 2010 US Air Force Chief Scientists Report on Technology Horizons as a necessary focus for science and technology research. Based on the success of our Phase I proof-of-concept study, we propose to develop and test a software application for aimpoint maintenance for advanced laser weapons. We will perform extensive simulation studies and collaborate with AFRL to integrate the software into hardware systems of interest. BENEFIT: Potential commercial applications will primarily be of a military nature, as the effort proposed herein is heavily focused toward advancing strategic and tactical laser system capabilities. Military applications such as tactical lasers will benefit from tracking and aimpoint maintenance algorithms developed herein. Commercial applications range from optical communication to animation, as the feature-based tracking algorithms under development will support a number of special effects innovations.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 189.96K | Year: 2016

DESCRIPTION Our goal in this project is to develop a web application to guide researchers in the efficient and effective design of animal studies that balance the competing needs of minimizing animal use and providing rigorous repeatable results Three basic ideas which translate directly into our three specific aims form the foundation of our proposed tool First an foremost is to place science before statistics develop the science plan for a pilot exploratory o hypothesis driven study with a clear idea of the effects of interest and structure of the animal selection housing and treatment plan Second is a prospective examination of sample size and effect size through power computations Third is ready access to expert support with design and statistics professionals The proposed study is the first phase in the development of a web application for experimental design and analysis Our Phase I effort will demonstrate the concept with a prototype dynamic web application that provides qualitative and quantitative decision support together with person to person on line chat capability for rapid technical assistance with study design In collaboration with our teammates at UC San Diego and UC Davis we will develop a set of example case studies from their extensive animal research experience ranging both in study goals and problem complexity From these examples we will develop use cases to design the user system interactions that will form the software development foundation PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE With mounting evidence of reproducibility problems in life sciences research there is a strong need for study design support especially on methodological issues The proposed web application will deliver assistance to researchers to improve the rigor in design and the repeatability of animal experiments


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: Laser-based directed energy systems are often identified as being game-changing technologies in advancing the mission of the Air Force. Precision efforts, minimal collateral damage, rapid response, and nearly unlimited ammunition are compelling advantages to laser weapon systems. Among the primary challenges to development and deployment is beam control, identified in the 2007 report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Directed Energy Weapons and the more recent 2010 US Air Force Chief Scientist"s Report on Technology Horizons as a necessary focus for science and technology research. This Phase I proposal offers a robust system for simultaneous tracking and aimpoint maintenance in advanced laser weapons systems. BENEFIT: Potential commercial applications will be of a military nature, as the effort proposed herein is heavily focused toward advancing strategic and tactical laser system capabilities. Military applications such as target locating and unmanned vehicle guidance will benefit from tracking and aimpoint maintenance algorithms developed herein.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2010

The real-time implementation of controls in nonlinear systems remains one of the great challenges in applying advanced control technology. Often, linearization around a set point is the only practical approach, and many controllers implemented in hardware systems are simple PID feedback mechanisms. To apply Pontryagin’s principle or Bellman’s equation using conventional hardware and algorithms for high dimensional nonlinear systems requires more computing power than is realistic. The success of linear control theory, especially certainty equivalence and LQG approaches, leads us to hope for additional gains from fully nonlinear controls. We propose an innovation in computational nonlinear control that offers ground breaking potential for real-time control applications, making fully nonlinear problems solvable with the computational efficiency of linear problems. The Phase II effort builds on our proof-of-concept Phase I demonstration of an integrated hardware-software solution implementing max-plus arithmetic for efficient solution of nonlinear control problems. The small-scale problems considered in Phase I will be expanded to include flight control and guidance applications in which nonlinearities present major challenges to system performance. The prototype system we propose to develop will provide users with a complete solution for developing and implementing real-time nonlinear controls.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 729.10K | Year: 2013

ABSTRACT: Laser-based directed energy systems are often identified as being game-changing technologies in advancing the mission of the Air Force. Precision efforts, minimal collateral damage, rapid response, and nearly unlimited ammunition are compelling advantages to laser weapon systems. Among the primary challenges to development and deployment is beam control, identified in the 2007 report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Directed Energy Weapons and the more recent 2010 US Air Force Chief Scientist"s Report on Technology Horizons as a necessary focus for science and technology research. This Phase II proposal offers a robust adaptive system for pointing, tracking, and jitter control in advanced laser weapons systems. BENEFIT: Potential commercial applications will be of a military nature, as the effort proposed herein is heavily focused toward advancing strategic and tactical laser system capabilities. Optical communications and military applications such as target locating and unmanned vehicle guidance will benefit from the system identification algorithms developed herein.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2011

ABSTRACT: Laser-based directed energy systems are often identified as being game-changing technologies in advancing the mission of the Air Force. Precision efforts, minimal collateral damage, rapid response, and nearly unlimited ammunition are compelling advantages to laser weapon systems. Among the primary challenges to development and deployment is beam control, identified in the 2007 report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Directed Energy Weapons and the more recent 2010 US Air Force Chief Scientist"s Report on Technology Horizons as a necessary focus for science and technology research. This Phase I proposal offers a robust adaptive system for pointing, tracking, and jitter control in advanced laser weapons systems. BENEFIT: Potential commercial applications will be of a military nature, as the effort proposed herein is heavily focused toward advancing strategic and tactical laser system capabilities. Optical communications and military applications such as target locating and unmanned vehicle guidance will benefit from the system identification algorithms developed herein.

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