Dr. Dario Pompili, Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), is the PI on a new NSF grant from the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Program. The title of the project is "Enabling Real-time Dynamic Control and Adaptation of Networked Robots in Resource-constrained and Uncertain Environments" and the award amount is $999,904. This project is in collaboration with Co-PIs Javier Diez and Jingang Yi, faculty members in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE).
The motivation of this project is that near-real-time water-quality monitoring in rivers, lakes, and water reservoirs of different physical variables is critical to prevent contaminated water from reaching the civilian population and to deploy timely remedial solutions. To make optimal decisions and “close the loop” promptly, it is essential to collect, aggregate, and process water data in real time. The Rutgers team will design a CPS where drones such as the Rutgers multi-medium Naviator, a Hybrid Unmanned Air/Underwater Vehicle (HUA/UV), and autonomous underwater robots (e.g., modified BlueROVs) can first identify regions of interest and take measurements as well as, if needed, collect biosamples from them; and then perform in-situ transformation of these measurements into valuable information and, finally, into knowledge.
Integrated field testing on the Raritan River will be performed so as to validate the algorithms as well as to analyze their scalability (from an economical and feasibility perspective) and confidence/accuracy performance. The Raritan River is a major river of central New Jersey that has experienced pollution from industrial facilities toxic dumping for over 100 years, and is a unique laboratory available to Rutgers; it is also the State’s largest contiguous wildlife corridor offering refuge to numerous threatened and endangered species. As part of the University-wide strategic plan, in September 2016 Rutgers University has equipped a new research vessel with an on-boat mobile lab to do river water sampling and monitoring. This Rutgers ECE-MAE project will enable streamlined and improved monitoring of such an important area. You can find more details on the project at the NSF page here: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1739315&HistoricalAwards=false
Congratulations Dario, Javier, and Jingang, on this excellent collaboration!