Veeravalli to lead $2.5 million project to develop intelligent, sensor-rich systems
Venu Veeravalli, Professor in ECE and Director of the Illinois Center for Wireless Systems (ICWS), received a $2.5 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to develop the theoretical foundations for dynamic information collection and fusion.
Veeravalli will lead a multi-university team that includes researchers from Syracuse University and Boston University to work on this project over a period of five years.
Future Air Force missions may consist of swarms of sensor-rich, intelligent, armed, unmanned autonomous aerial vehicles that will provide persistent and ubiquitous situational awareness, intelligence, and support for ground operations. In this new sensing paradigm, it will be possible to manage and control multiple degrees of freedom in the information gathering system, ranging from sensor operating modes to physical control of the platforms carrying the sensors. The goal is to efficiently use this rich and diverse set of information sources towards mission-critical situational awareness.
"This project is aimed at developing a comprehensive framework for control of information collection, fusion, and inference from diverse modalities, that will lay the foundation for the next generation of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems,” Veeravalli said.
The framework and methodologies developed during the course of the project can have applications in other areas such as crisis mitigation, disaster recovery and search-and-rescue missions. For example, in the aftermath of an earthquake, it will soon be possible to employ small robots with with a variety of sensors to search through rubble and find survivors. Being able to control these sensors dynamically to provide the best possible information would be critical in such an operation.
"I expect this to be the most important project that I'll be working on over the next five years," Veeravalli said.