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UT Dallas

February 6, 2017

Autonomous UAVs: A Look into the Future

Dr. Siva S. Banda
Chief Scientist, Aerospace Systems Directorate,
Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

2 p.m. in TI Auditorium (ECSS 2.102)

Abstract: The future of Autonomous Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) depends on today’s Science & Technology (S&T) programs. While there is a tremendous amount of worldwide S&T in autonomy, this presentation will focus on U.S. Air Force (USAF) programs we believe are critical to enabling autonomous operations. The presentation will begin with a brief overview of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Aerospace Systems Directorate, followed by a review of three critical “Game Changing” technologies currently under development by the USAF: hypersonics, directed energy, and autonomy. Future directions and plans for all three technology areas will be discussed; however, a more in-depth discussion of autonomous UAVs and associated technologies is provided. Specifically, the challenges, technology maturity, and future focus of the following technology areas will be discussed: automatic collision avoidance, state awareness and real-time response, trust and certification, airspace integration, aerospace control, small UAS power and control, tactical autonomy, and enhanced mobility operations. Combining some of these separate technology areas into an integrated demonstration will be highlighted with a discussion of several programs including the Loyal Wingman program and the Automated Intelligent Battle Management program.

Biography: Dr. Siva S. Banda is the Chief Scientist of the Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.  He is responsible for assessing the quality, relevance and technical approach of the Directorate’s technical portfolio including air breathing propulsion, missile and rocket propulsion, power and thermal management, hypersonics, aerospace structures, vehicle aerodynamics and flight control.  Dr. Banda’s contributions have been recognized in multiple forums and in multiple ways, most notably through: IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Control Systems Technology Award; the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Silver Medal; IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Nathaniel B. Nichols Medal, the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award; election as a Fellow of RAeS, AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), IEEE and IFAC; and membership of the National Academy of Engineering.  He serves on advisory boards at the University of Michigan, University of Central Florida, University of Washington, and University of Dayton.  He serves as an advisor to AFOSR, ONR (Office of Naval Research), ARO (Army Research Office), DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), NSF (National Science Foundation), and leads several international technical activities within the NATO Science and Technology Organization.  He has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, the International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, and the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics.  Dr. Banda has authored over 200 technical papers, reports and books, holds two patents, and has delivered more than 130 invited lectures worldwide. 


For more information,
Contact : Kathryn Owens
at 972.883.4479 or
[email protected]