Girish Chowdhary awarded with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Research Program grant

Distributed Autonomous System Laboratory

Original article:  http://www.ceat.okstate.edu/girish-chowdhary-awarded-air-force-office-scientific-research-young-investigator-research-program

(STILLWATER, Okla., February 17, 2015) – Dr. Girish Chowdhary, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Oklahoma State University (OSU), was awarded with a grant of about $360,000 over three years, with a potential extension for up to two more years, from Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) through its Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) on January 20, 2015, in Arlington, VA.

“It will enable me to pursue leading edge basic research in the field of autonomy,” said Chowdhary. “I expect this work to form a foundation for my goal of developing algorithms to enable autonomous Unmanned Aircraft (UA) that work with humans in solving challenging tasks in complex, asymmetric, and dynamically changing environments.”

The research proposed in his YIP proposal seeks to develop theoretical underpinnings and practical algorithms for Robust Adaptive Autonomy in Contested Environments for mixed manned and unmanned aerial teams.  UA have already seen deployment and success in diverse battle arenas, however, the current heavily supervised UA operation paradigm is not well matched with the emerging needs of conflict. Chowdary’s proposed work includes the development of novel adaptive learning and decision-making algorithms that can provide robust mission performance in dynamically changing contested environments.

"Unmanned Aerial Systems have already seen deployment and success in many diverse application domains. However, most UA operation remain semi-autonomous and heavily supervised,” said Chowdhary.

“The research proposed in this YIP proposal seeks to develop theoretical underpinnings and practical algorithms for Robust Adaptive Autonomy in Contested Environments for mixed manned-unmanned aerial teams.”

AFOSR will award approximately $16.6 million in grants to 57 scientist and engineers from 43 research institutions and small businesses that submitted winning research proposals through the YIP. The YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. This year they received over 200 proposals in areas including Dynamical Systems and Control, Quantum and Non-Equilibrium Processes, Information, Decision and Complex Networks, Complex Materials and Devices, and Energy, Power and Propulsion.

Dr. Chowdhary obtained his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, spent two years at MIT as a postdoctoral associate, and has been at OSU since 2013. He has published over 90 peer reviewed contributions, including book chapters, journal and conference articles. Some of his areas of interest include large-scale and long-duration collaborative autonomy, with particular focus on unmanned aerial systems, Bayesian nonparametric machine learning, adaptive-optimal control and decision making for stochastic dynamical systems, including adaptive control, reinforcement learning, partially observable Markov decision processes, and transfer learning of control and decision making policies.

This three-years $360,000 grant will help with Chowdhary’s future research, provide him with more opportunities for contributing to the state-of-art in UA and in the development of novel adaptive learning and decision-making algorithms.

For more information go to http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123436763 

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Dr. Chowdhary awarded Young Investigator Research Program grant
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From Air Force Office of Scientific Research
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Dr. Chowdhary and students around Hardware-in-the-loop Simulator