Ph.D. University of Michigan. Computer Science & Engineering. 1999.
M.S. University of Michigan. Computer Science & Engineering. 1995.
M.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Aeronautics & Astronautics. 1990.
B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Aeronautics & Astronautics. 1988.
Professor Atkins' research program focuses on the integration of strategic and tactical planning and optimization algorithms to enable robust, autonomous aircraft and spacecraft flight in the presence of system failures and environmental uncertainties. Onboard automation must enhance performance while maintaining safe long-term operation robust to unexpected or failure scenarios. Mission and trajectory planners must yield acceptable low-cost solutions for single vehicles or coordinated teams operating nominally or, worst-case, in unfriendly, uncertain environments with degraded performance characteristics. Researchers have begun to speak of humans "on the loop" rather than "in the loop". Under this paradigm, humans are the mission managers and theatre commanders supported by an array of computational tools. These tools must acquire and accurately summarize mission-critical information for human supervisors while providing the underlying infrastructure that plans and executes missions in accordance with specified high-level directives. Hardware-based demonstration of single-vehicle and collaborative systems is a key component of Dr. Atkins' research. Current platforms include the Solus UAV and a planetary surface rover.
W. Ren and E. Atkins, “Distributed Multi-Vehicle Coordinated Control via Local Information Exchange,” International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, to appear.
T. Wasserman, J. Lennon, and E. Atkins, “Fault-Tolerant Vision-based Astronaut Following for Planetary Exploration”, Journal of Aerospace Computing, Information, and Communication, AIAA, to appear.
W. Ren, R. W. Beard, and E. M. Atkins, “Consensus Problems in Multi-vehicle Cooperative Control: A Tutorial Overview,” IEEE Control Systems Magazine, revision submitted.
D. Chavez-Clemente and E. Atkins, “Optimization of Tetrahedral Satellite Formations,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), vol. 42, no. 5, pp. 699-710, July-August 2005.
J. Smithanik, E. Atkins, and R. Sanner, “A Visual Positioning System for an Underwater Space Simulation Environment,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), to appear.
M. Xue and E. M. Atkins, “Runway-Independent Aircraft Approach Design for the Baltimore-Washington Airport,” Journal of Aircraft, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), to appear.
E. M. Atkins, I. Alonso-Portillo, and M. J. Strube, "Emergency Flight Planning applied to Total Loss of Thrust," Journal of Aircraft, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), to appear.