My research focuses on the development of control solutions for Networked Control Systems (NCSs). The term NCS refers to a time-critical and safety-critical control process where the control feedback loop is closed via a real-time communication network. A typical NCS is comprised of multiple spatially distributed nodes (e.g., sensors, actuators, computers, and controllers) that can send and receive information (e.g., commands and measurement signals) through a shared communication network. The end goal is to regulate the output of one or multiple processes. Examples of NCSs include marine vessels, unmanned vehicles, water plants, power grids, and smart buildings, among many others.
The use of a shared communication network among subsystems provides several advantages from a design and operational perspective including scalability, modularity, redundancy, and lower production, maintenance, and operational costs. Yet, its use also presents several challenges such as the scheduling of common resources and the loss of real-time data integrity and availability due to communication delays, data losses, and noisy signals. In addition, the use of a shared communication network increases the vulnerability of the control process to cyber attacks by adding an additional point of entry (i.e., a vector of attack) for malicious agents. Failure to protect the NCS against any of these communication and security issues can lead to catastrophic consequences for the regulated process.
The stable teleoperation of physical systems subject to communication delays;
The safe coordination and collision-free transit of teams of unmanned vehicles;
The use of event-based control for the efficient scheduling of control tasks; and
The detection of cyber attacks in NCS and the recovery of stability after an attack.