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Guest Lecture

Optimal Path Planning and Sensor Placement for Mobile Target Detection

Prof. Brian D. O. Anderson
Australian National University

Monday, 4/29/19, 11:00am
Light Engineering 250

Abstract: This talk describes an applications problem originating from Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organization, in which a variety of modeling and optimization issues present themselves. For a flying military vehicle, in many scenarios avoiding detection is a key objective. Given a field of heterogeneous detectors such as radars in fixed positions, flying the least probability of detection path through the field of detectors is a fundamental strategy. Most previous optimization methods for this problem have sought to minimize cumulative radar exposure; in contrast, we consider a formulation that directly minimizes the probability of detection. We show how a variational dynamic programming method can be applied to this model to allow one to find a locally optimal path with low computational complexity, and then extend the idea in two directions. First, using homotopy methods, we consider how the vehicle can cope with adjustments to the detector field, resulting from introduction or removal of detectors, or changes of sensitivity. Then we consider the effect of taking Doppler measurements into account. This poses a challenge both in terms of modeling, and an increase in the dimension of the problem. From the point of view of those seeking to detect the vehicle, the positioning of sensor assets is important. The talk considers how this can be done when the vehicle whose detection is desired optimizes its path. A relaxed version of the positioning problem can be formulated as a convex optimization problem and used to determine optimal or close-to-optimal detector positions. 

Bio: Brian D. O. Anderson was born in Sydney, Australia, and educated at Sydney University in mathematics and electrical engineering, with PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University (having retired as Distinguished Professor in 2016), Distinguished Professor at Hangzhou Dianzi University, and Distinguished Researcher in Data61-CSIRO (formerly NICTA). His awards include the IFAC Quazza Medal, the IEEE Control Systems Field Award, the IEEE James H Mulligan, Jr Education Medal, and the Bode Prize of the IEEE Control System Society, as well as several IEEE and other best paper prizes. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the International Federation of Automatic Control, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Royal Society (London), and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He holds honorary doctorates from a number of universities, including Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and ETH, Zürich. He is also an honorary professor of Harbin Institute of Technology and Zhejiang University. He is a past president of the International Federation of Automatic Control and the Australian Academy of Science. His current research interests are in distributed control, sensor networks, social networks and econometric modelling.