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Novel Algorithm/Hardware Partnerships for Real-Time Nonlinear Control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-10-C-0107
Agency Tracking Number: F09B-T06-0234
Amount: $99,998.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF09-BT06
Solicitation Number: 2009.B
Solicitation Year: 2009
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-04-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2011-01-30
Small Business Information
Suite 506 8939 South Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
United States
DUNS: 036255409
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Yun Wang
 Vice President
 (310) 216-1677
Business Contact
 Ben Fitzpatrick
Title: President
Phone: (310) 216-1677
Research Institution
 Wayne State University
 Donald J Wonsowicz
656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
United States

 (313) 577-6734
 Nonprofit College or University

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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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