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The Future of Aerospace Control: Opportunities and Challenges

Gary Balas

Today's aerospace industry offers exciting opportunities for control engineers with a number of new commercial and military aircraft being planned, numerous new missions in space and the accelerated development of Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for military and commercial applications. The most active area of aircraft development is UAVs. The U.S. military alone has 20 UAVs either in service, in development or under conceptual development and the number of UAV systems will grow to 300 by the year 2010. Currently, 32 nations are developing or manufacturing more than 250 models of UAVs. This talk presents a vision for the opportunities and challenges facing aerospace control engineers. For example, requirements on autonomous system increase the need for development of reliable design and analysis tools for high performance, robust and adaptive control algorithms. Advances are needed in the areas of: cooperative control in dynamic, uncertain, friendly and adversarial environments; reconfigurable control systems; integrated control, computing and communication for robust networked systems; and uncertainty management for complex systems. Indeed, the future of aerospace system is critically dependent on advances in the controls area.

Last modified: 9 June 2004, 14:46 UTC
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