Dr. Kimon P. Valavanis received his PhD degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is currently John Evans Professor and Chair of the ECE Department, D.F. Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Denver, and Director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute. He holds a Guest Professorship in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Croatia. He was invited through the European Union PhD Research Program in Italy to teach Robotics and Unmanned Systems at the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Gestionale e dell' Automazione, Universita Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy, and through the PhD - Excellence Program in Italy to teach UAV navigation and control at the Politecnico di Torino, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale. He has offered the same course at the South China University of Technology. He was invited by the Hellenic Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education of the Hellenic Republic to evaluate Greek Universities and by the European Union as evaluator of IP/STREP projects of the 7th European Union Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development-Information and Communication Technologies-Cognitive Systems and Robotics. He is an appointed Scientific Project Reviewer by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia and reviewer of research projects evaluated by the Italian Evaluation of Research Quality Exercise. He has graduated 35 PhD students and more than 100 M.Sc. students. He has attracted and has helped attracting more than $50 M in research funds from Federal and State agencies, industry and the private sector. While in Europe, he was funded by the Greek Secretariat of Research and Technology, the European Union, industry, and from the Croatian Ministry of Science and Technology. His research interests span Unmanned Systems, Distributed Intelligence Systems, Robotics and Automation. He has published close to 400 book chapters, technical journal/transaction, referred conference papers, invited papers and technical reports. He has authored/co-authored/edited 18 books, including: On Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the National Airspace System: Issues, Challenges, Operational Restrictions, Certification, and Recommendations, 2nd Edition, Springer, 2012, Linear and Nonlinear Control of Small Scale Unmanned Rotorcraft, Springer, 2012 (translated into Chinese); Handbook of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Springer, 2015, also translated into Chinese - a 2nd Edition will be published by Springer in 2017; Foundations of Circulation Control Based Small-Scale Unmanned Aircraft: A Comprehensive Methodology from Concept to Design and Experimental Testing, and, Modeling, Navigation and Control of a Small-Scale Flybarless Unmanned Rotorcraft, both to be published by Springer in 2017. Dr. Valavanis served as Editor-in-Chief of the Robotics and Automation Magazine from 1996-2005, and since 2006, of the Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, Springer. He serves as co-chair/chair of the Aerial Robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Technical Committee since 2008. He founded/launched the International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which he runs annually. He was Distinguished Speaker in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, he is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the U.K Institute of Measurement and Control, Senior Member of IEEE and Fulbright Scholar.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have seen unprecedented levels of growth during the last decade; projections and expectations for future utilization center on a very wide spectrum of civilian/public domain applications, spanning emergency response, environmental monitoring, early fire detection and forest protection, to name but a few such applications. However, before timely and orderly integration into civilian airspace it is essential that R&D at least in the areas of design for autonomy, navigation, robust and fault-tolerant control, sense-detect-and-avoid/see-and-avoid systems for mid-air collision avoidance, UAV safety and reliability, reaches maturity before complete UAS integration into the national airspace system occurs.
This talk focuses at first on the design for autonomy framework, the transition from the 'human-in-the-loop' to the 'human-on-the-loop' concept that is coupled with the much needed reduced operator workload, followed by a modular UAS fault-tolerant control architecture aiming at facilitating software developments regardless of specific hardware. Moving forward, and considering that Personal Air Vehicles (PAVs) is not such an 'unthinkable' goal, an integrated methodology to build and test Circulation Control Based fixed-wing UAVs is presented, which allows for enhanced performance, reduced take-off runway, delayed stall and increased payload during cruise flight. The talk concludes with an approach to integrate unmanned aviation into the national airspace based on establishing Equivalent Levels of Safety (ELOS), probability of failure of unmanned aircraft and kinetic energy upon impact.