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Intelligent Power Systems

Annual Plan

Risk Averse Vehicle Energy, Thermal Signature Management and Control to Enable Silent Mobility/watch

Project Team

Principal Investigator

Jeffrey Naber, Michigan Tech


Yeefeng Ruan, Nathan Tison, Vamshi Korivi, U.S. Army GVSC


Ahammad Basha Dudekula, Michigan Tech


Peter Rynes, ThermoAnalytics


Yashodeep Lonari, Michigan Tech

Project Summary

Project begins 2022.

The developments in autonomous vehicle planning and controls algorithms have largely been for structured on-road vehicle operation. Autonomy in an unstructured off-road environment remains a difficult problem. Prior research in off-road mission planning and controls considered various factors including terrain trafficability, vehicle dynamics, and energy utilization. However, these efforts do not address mission planning under mobility uncertainty for silent mobility/silent watch of vehicle cohort, that needs reduced thermal and acoustic signatures in combination with energy optimization. Mission planning to ensure energy sufficiency of optionally manned next-generation combat vehicles (NGCVs) is non-trivial because of high uncertainty in the operating terrain and weather characteristics of off-road missions along with the need for dynamic situational awareness. The planning complexity further increases due to varying time constants of the vehicle’s thermal, power, and energy systems; and multivariate mission objectives e.g. to reach multiple goal locations with integrated silent mobility and watch.

The objective of this project is to develop an optimal control methodology that ensures energy sufficiency with the thermal signature constraints with reduced-order multi-time scale dynamic models in mission-based uncertain risk zone paths and yet meeting silent mobility and silent watch in a vehicle cohort. This proposal assumes uncertainty information of the terrain and mobility is known from prior ARC projects and exploits for the assessment of control architecture robustness.

The project addresses the following fundamental research questions:

  1. How to design a constrained optimal control framework for integrated power, energy and thermal systems with varying time constants operating in highly uncertain and unstructured environments?

  2. What is the effective methodology to obtain for entire mission (long/shrinking horizon) probabilistic constraints on off-road system’s state trajectories for energy & thermal signature that ensure energy sufficiency of the mission?

  3. How to develop uncertainty aware risk zone models that can be incorporated in the powertrain control framework, to ensure real-time convergence by risk averse control of integrated systems?

  4. What are the real-time compliant modelling approaches to capture coupling between power and thermal dynamics that accurately predict vehicle’s thermal signature and energy consumption of vehicle powertrain for silent mobility /watch?