Behçet Açıkmeşe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering in 2002 from Purdue University. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Purdue University before joining NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2003. He was a senior technologist at JPL and a lecturer in GALCIT at Caltech. At JPL, Dr. Açıkmeşe developed GN&C algorithms for planetary landing, formation flying spacecraft, and asteroid and comet sample return missions. He was the developer of the “flyaway” GN&C algorithms in Mars Science Laboratory, which successfully landed on Mars in August 2012.
On Monday November 17, 2014 Dr. Açıkmeşe gave a presentation on Real-Time Convex Optimization for Control of Autonomous Spacecraft. See slides from the presentation here.
Many future space missions will require dramatic increases in our existing Autonomous GN&C (Guidance, Navigation and Control) capabilities. These include robotic sample return missions to planets, comets, and asteroids, formation flying spacecraft ap- plication’s, and applications utilizing swarms of autonomous spacecraft. The main GN&C challenge for many autonomous systems is to achieve the performance goals safely with minimal resource use in the presence of mission constraints and uncertainties. A key difficulty in meeting this challenge is the ability to solve these complex GN&C decision making problems autonomously onboard. Our research has provided new analytical results that enabled the formulation of many autonomous GN&C problems in a convex optimization framework. This presentation introduces an important real-world example, planetary pinpoint landing, where this approach produced dramatically improved performance over the heritage technology. We developed a novel “lossless convexification” method of solution, which will enable the next generation planetary missions, such as Mars robotic […]