[talks] Cyber-Physical Systems in Aerospace Engineering

Scott Karlin scott at CS.Princeton.EDU
Sat Feb 11 18:16:47 EST 2017

Cyber-Physical Systems in Aerospace Engineering

Eric Feron, Georgia Institute of Technology

Monday, February 13, 2017, 3:30pm


The Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) of today are, in principle, no 
different from the controlled systems of yesterday. However, what 
justifies the new name, especially in Aerospace Engineering, is the 
spectacular increase in available embedded computing power allowing the 
systems to offer a vastly expanded range of functionalities. In 
addition, the safety-critical or mission-critical nature of anything 
that aerospace engineering builds makes it very important that the 
systems be verified and validated every step of the way from concept to 
operation. However, on the one hand, software verification and 
validation (V&V) alone has been reported to burn in excess of 50% of the 
B787's development budget. On the other hand, the proponents of novel 
air vehicles, such as Amazon, Google, Zee, or A^3 by Airbus group, 
challenge the high cost of CPS development and would like to see a 
"lite" V&V approved by certification agencies.

This talk will concentrate on the basic principles of Aerospace CPS 
development, indicating the traditional way such systems are specified, 
built, verified, and validated. The author's specific attempts at 
addressing the high cost of V&V, notably credible embedded software 
synthesis, will be highlighted along the way, but current needs and 
existing challenges will be equally emphasized, regardless of who ends 
up meeting them. The difficult question of certifying advanced autonomy 
algorithms will be discussed, along with the recent solutions proposed 
by the engineering and policy research community.

Eric Feron received the B.S. degree from École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, 
France, the M.S. degree from the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, 
France, and the Ph.D. degree from Stanford University, Stanford, CA. He 
is the Dutton–Ducoffe Professor of Aerospace Software Engineering, 
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA and a consulting Professor 
of Applied Mathematics at École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, 
Toulouse, France. Prior to that, he was with the faculty of the 
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology, Cambridge, for 12 years. His former research students are 
distributed throughout academia, government, and industry. He has 
published three books and several research papers. His research 
interests include using fundamental concepts of control systems, 
optimization, and computer science to address important problems in 
aerospace engineering such as agile control of unmanned aerial vehicles 
and multi-agent operations in air transportation systems, and aerospace 
cyber-physical system certification.

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