MAE Seminar Series

Dr. Ella Atkins

Data-to-Decisions for Safe Autonomous Flight

December 6 | 3:30 p.m. | 114 Hochstetter Hall

Professor, Aerospace Engineering Department

University of Michigan


Traditional sensor data can be augmented with new data sources such as road maps and geographical information sys­tem (GIS) Lidar/video to offer emerging unmanned aircraft sys­tems (UAS) and urban air mobility (UAM) a new level of situa­tional awareness. This presentation will summarize my group's research to identify, process, and utilize GIS, map, and other real -time data sources during nominal and emergency flight plan­ning. Specific efforts have utilized machine learning to automat­ically map flat rooftops as urban emergency landing sites, incor­porate cell phone data into an occupancy map for risk-aware flight planning, and extend airspace geofencing into a frame­work capable of managing all traffic types in complex airspace and land use environments. The presentation will end with a dis­cussion of the Flying Fish Autonomous Unmanned Seaplane de­veloped for DARPA in 2006-2009.


Dr. Ella Atkins is a Professor in the University of Michigan's Aero­space Engineering Department where she directs the Autono­mous Aerospace Systems (A2SYS) Lab and is Associate Director of the Robotics Institute. Dr. Atkins holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and M.S. and Ph.D. de­grees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. She is past-chair of the AIAA Intelligent Systems Technical Committee, AIAA Associate Fellow, small public airport owner/operator, private pilot, and Part 107 UAS pilot. She served on the National Academy's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, the Institute for Defense Analysis Defense Science Studies Group, and an NRC committee to develop an autonomy re­search agenda for civil aviation. Dr. Atkins has built a research program in decision-making and control to assure safe contin­gency management in manned and unmanned Aerospace ap­plications. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of AIAA Journal of Aer­ospace Information Systems (JAIS). 

Event Date: November 1, 2018 at 3:30 PM This content is archived.