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Los Angeles, CA, United States

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 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: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2005

Counteracting the actions of groups that direct and implement violent behavior towards the United States and its citizens is one of the major issues of our time. Elimination of individuals identified as threats is apparently of marginal long-term utility: other adversaries arise to replace fallen comrades. The conflict that is the global war on terror exists not only on an individual level but also on group and societal levels. The interplay of the dynamics among these levels is an important process to understand if we are to defeat terrorist agendas. A systems-theoretic approach to the social network dynamics of such groups provides an alternative to direct individual-based intervention, and there is significant potential in taking such an approach. We propose the development of cutting-edge algorithms for dynamic, stochastic games, integrating dynamic models of social networks with game-theoretic approaches to decision and our unique tools for handling uncertainty, intent estimation, and robustness to deception, for the improvement of decision-making within such contexts.


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: 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.

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