Eric Feron's research while affiliated with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and other places

Publications (418)

Article
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This paper addresses the generation of aircraft emergency trajectories with obstacle avoidance. After presenting in detail the fast marching tree algorithm, in this paper we propose an improvement of its performance. First, the free space checking function is sped up. Then, the algorithm is used twice, firstly with the sampling of a few points to g...
Preprint
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Quadratic Lyapunov function has been widely used in the analysis of linear time invariant (LTI) systems ever since it has shown that the existence of such quadratic Lyapunov function certifies the stability of the LTI system. In this work, the problem of finding upper and lower bounds for the $L_{\infty}$-induced norm of the LTI system is considere...
Article
This paper presents an integrated optimal control framework for velocity and steering control of an autonomous pursuit vehicle, where the control objectives satisfy the requirements of collision avoidance and moving target tracking. A distinctive feature of the proposed velocity and steering control is the application of logarithmic penalty functio...
Conference Paper
View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-0960.vid Interest in commercial aircraft formations is growing as a way to reduce airspace congestion and carbon footprint. The realization of these formations requires serious consideration of formation contingencies and safety during closer-in maneuvering of large commercial air- craft. This...
Conference Paper
View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-0280.vid The advancement in small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology has led to the creation of novel vehicle designs with unique rotor configurations. Some of these configurations involve rotor-rotor wake interactions that can impact the performance of the rotors and the overall efficie...
Article
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This work presents an online decentralized allocation algorithm of a safety-critical application on parallel computing architectures, where individual Computational Units can be affected by faults. The described method includes representing the architecture by an abstract graph where each node represents a Computational Unit. Applications are also...
Preprint
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Run Time Assurance (RTA) Systems are online verification mechanisms that filter an unverified primary controller output to ensure system safety. The primary control may come from a human operator, an advanced control approach, or an autonomous control approach that cannot be verified to the same level as simpler control systems designs. The critica...
Conference Paper
Commercial aviation is statically proven to be the safest mode of commercial transportation. This feat is largely due to technological advances and stringent regulations that yield an under-utilized national airspace. However, as the air transportation system (ATS) evolves to support a new class of vehicles, known as urban air mobility (UAM) system...
Conference Paper
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We present an automated emergency trajectory generator to compute the best emergency trajectory for a given landing site. A combination of the optimized version of the rapidly exploring random tree algorithm and Dubins paths is used to compute a path connecting the aircraft position with the landing site, which avoids the obstacles in the way. Then...
Preprint
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In this note, a novel methodology that can extract a number of analysis results for linear time-invariant systems (LTI) given only a single trajectory of the considered system is proposed. The superiority of the proposed technique relies on the fact that it provides an automatic and formal way to obtain valuable information about the controlled sys...
Article
In this paper, a novel architecture, Baby, for robotic babies is proposed with a systems engineering design approach. A robotic baby is an autonomous learning system with minimal structures at the beginning of its life, aiming to gradually learn languages and actions from interactions with human parents and the world. Throughout the paper, the phil...
Article
High mix, low volume processes such as additive manufacturing (AM) offer tremendous promise for increasing the customization in manufacturing but are hindered by the lack of efficient methods for identifying process parameters for complex new geometries exhibiting the desired performance. The search over the process space can be automated with anal...
Article
This paper presents an ‘optimally designed’ anti-collision trajectory plan suitable for moving target tracking in narrow spaces like corridors, aisles, etc. Narrow spaces constitute of highly constrained reachable states in the context of dynamic motion. Tracking is the default mode, while the safe trajectory is triggered on a priority-basis. The o...
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Purpose of Review This work provides an overview of avionic systems, which can be used as an entry point to learn about their architecture and components, and as a guide for studying the recent development of unmanned aerial systems avionics. Recent Findings The development trend of avionics for unmanned aerial systems tends toward the one used fo...
Article
Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) are continuing to proliferate. Quantitative risk assessment for UAS operations, both a priori and during the operation, are necessary for governing authorities and insurance companies to understand the risks and properly approve operations and assign insurance premiums, respectively. In this paper, the problem of UAS...
Chapter
This paper aims at investigating further the use of the social media Twitter as a real-time estimator of the US Air Transportation system. Two different machine learning regressors have been trained on this 2017 passenger-centric dataset and tested on the first two months of 2018 for the estimation of air traffic delays at departure and arrival at...
Preprint
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In this paper, a complete tool for real-time detection of atypical energy behaviors of airplanes is presented. The methodology extends in real time an existing offline process using Dubins trajectories as a predictor of the remaining distance to the runway threshold. Two major contributions are presented in this paper. First, a real-time measure of...
Article
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During the COVID-19 period and particularly during lockdown, deviations from nominal operations have shown to become more frequent. To confirm this observation this paper proposes to evaluate the impact of COVID-19, and more generally of crises that lead to a sharp drop in traffic, on the pilot/controller system, especially during the critical appr...
Preprint
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Improving the passenger air travel experience is one of the explicit goals set by the Next Generation Air Transportation System in the United States and by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe FlightPath 2050. Both suggest door-to-door travel times as a potential metric for these objectives. In this paper, we propose a data-drive...
Article
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In an effort to maintain safety while satisfying growing air traffic demand, air navigation service providers are considering the inclusion of advisory systems to identify potential conflicts and propose resolution commands for the air traffic controller to verify and issue to aircraft. To understand the potential workload implications of introduci...
Conference Paper
Formal verification tools are cited as an essential component to enable more widespread development and adoption of advanced autonomous systems. While numerous techniques and tools exist, the applicability of these tools to actual systems under development is currently uncertain. There are myriad reasons for such uncertainty, mostly stemming from a...
Preprint
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Stability margins for linear time-varying (LTV) and switched-linear systems are traditionally computed via quadratic Lyapunov functions, and these functions certify the stability of the system under study. In this work, we show how the more general class of homogeneous polynomial Lyapunov functions is used to compute stability margins with reduced...
Conference Paper
As the number of objects in Earth orbit continues to grow, automatic maneuvering of spacecraft may play an important role in a comprehensive space traffic management framework. Automatic collision avoidance, rendezvous and proximity operations, and station keeping are all possible spacecraft missions where two or more spacecraft may interact in an...
Article
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This paper studies the problem of controlling finite nondeterministic transition systems to satisfy constraints given as linear temporal logic properties. A controller architecture is proposed that maps finite fragments of the state trajectory history to control inputs. This approach avoids the standard controller construction that employs an onboa...
Article
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There are two main approaches to safety-critical control. The first one relies on computation of control invariant sets and is presented in the first part of this work. The second approach draws from the topic of optimal control and relies on the ability to realize Model-Predictive-Controllers online to guarantee the safety of a system. In the seco...
Preprint
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Performance analysis for linear time-invariant (LTI) systems has been closely tied to quadratic Lyapunov functions ever since it was shown that LTI system stability is equivalent to the existence of such a Lyapunov function. Some metrics for LTI systems, however, have resisted treatment via means of quadratic Lyapunov functions. Among these, point-...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the air transportation system worldwide. This paper aims at analyzing the effect of the travel restriction measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic from a passenger perspective on the US air transportation system. Four metrics based on data generated by passengers and airlines on social...
Article
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Sensor fusion is a topic central to aerospace engineering and is particularly applicable to unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Evidential Reasoning, also known as Dempster-Shafer theory, is used heavily in sensor fusion for detection classification. High computing requirements typically limit use on small UAS platforms. Valuation networks, the general...
Article
This brief discusses the possibility of making an object that precisely meets global structural requirements using additive manufacturing and feedback control. Experimental validation is presented by printing a cantilever beam with a prescribed stiffness requirement. The printing process is formalized as a model-based finite-horizon discrete contro...
Preprint
Advanced embedded algorithms are growing in complexity and they are an essential contributor to the growth of autonomy in many areas. However, the promise held by these algorithms cannot be kept without proper attention to the considerably stronger design constraints that arise when the applications of interest, such as aerospace systems, are safet...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, a post-operational detection method based on functional principal component analysis and clustering is presented and compared with regard to designed operational criteria. The methodology computes an atypical scoring on a sliding window. It enables not only to detect but also to localize where trajectories deviate statistically from...
Preprint
This paper aims at analyzing the effect on the US air transportation system of the travel restriction measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic from a passenger perspective. Flight centric data are not already publicly and widely available therefore the traditional metrics used to measure the state of this system are not yet available. Seve...
Article
Advanced embedded algorithms are growing in complexity, and they are an essential contributor to the growth of autonomy in many areas. However, the promise held by these algorithms cannot be kept without proper attention to the considerably stronger design constraints that arise when the applications of interest, such as aerospace systems, are safe...
Preprint
This paper presents the foundation of a modular robotic system comprised of several novel modules in the shape of a tetrahedron. Four single-propeller submodules are assembled to create the Tetracopter, a tetrahedron-shaped quad-rotorcraft used as the elementary module of a modular flying system. This modular flying system is built by assembling th...
Article
Collisions may be harnessed as a way to improve the overall safety and navigational effectiveness of some spacecraft. However, leveraging this capability in autonomous platforms requires the ability to plan trajectories comprising impulsive contact. This paper addresses this problem through the development of a collision-inclusive approach to optim...
Conference Paper
Most existing methods for guaranteeing safety within robotics require time-consuming set-based computations, which greatly limit their applicability to real-world systems. In recent work, the authors have proposed a novel controlled set invariance framework to tackle this limitation. The framework uses a classical barrier function formulation, but...
Preprint
This work presents a decentralized allocation algorithm of safety-critical application on parallel computing architectures, where individual Computational Units can be affected by faults. The described method consists in representing the architecture by an abstract graph where each node represents a Computational Unit. Applications are also represe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The field of bio-inspired robotics seeks to create mechanical systems that mimic the designs and concepts used by biological systems. One of the more challenging biological concepts to imitate in mechanical systems is the ability to create an internal environment that can foster homeostasis through the use of a membrane similar to skin. A robot wit...
Preprint
We propose to develop a full-accuracy flight test environment for the Mars helicopter and related Mars-atmospheric vehicles. The experiment would use reduced-g atmospheric flights with an aircraft that houses a properly sized vacuum chamber.
Preprint
This paper introduces the safety controller architecture as a runtime assurance mechanism for system specifications expressed as safety properties in Linear Temporal Logic (LTL). The safety controller has three fundamental components: a performance controller, a backup controller, and an assurance mechanism. The assurance mechanism uses a monitor,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The development of multi-core processors has been providing benefits to many industries. However, some issues may arise among these benefits because of the potential conflicts between parallel applications. One of the important concerns is the reliability of the safety critical applications. This paper proposes two algorithms for computing a probab...
Chapter
In this paper, the problem of aircraft trajectories representation and analysis is addressed. In many operational situations, there is a need to have a value expressing how trajectories are close to each other. Some measures have been previously defined, mainly for trajectory prediction applications, all of them being based on distance computations...
Preprint
In this work, we address the problem of searching for homogeneous polynomial Lyapunov functions for stable switched linear systems. Specifically, we show an equivalence between polynomial Lyapunov functions for switched linear systems and quadratic Lyapunov functions for a related hierarchy of Lyapunov differential equations. This creates an intuit...
Preprint
This paper introduces the problem of printing a cantilever beam with precise structural requirements using Additive Manufacturing and feedback control. The manufactured cantilever beam is made of \SI{500}{} horizontal layers with different widths, allowing for various final shapes of the beam. The whole printing process is therefore formalized as a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The propagation of a state vector is governed by a set of time-invariant state transition matrices that switch arbitrarily between two values. The evolution of the state is also perturbed by white Gaussian noise with a variance that switches randomly with the state transition relation. The behavior of this system can be characterized by the covaria...
Article
Cell phone data can be used to implement new methods for analyzing domestic air passengers’ behavior in order to have an original description of the state of the air transportation system. By leveraging over 5 billion records of mobile phone location data from a major carrier in the United States, it is possible to reliably analyze passenger behavi...
Conference Paper
This paper presents an online approach to safety critical control. The common approach for enforcing safety of a system requires the offline computation of a viable set, which is either hard and time consuming or very restrictive in terms of operational freedom for the system. The first part of this work shows how one can constrain a system to stay...