Plenary Lecture

Plenary Lecture

Military Path Planning for Unmanned Autonomous Agents

Associate Professor Manoj K. Jha
Center for Advanced Transportation and Infrastructure Engineering Research
Department of Civil Engineering
Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251

Abstract: Due to the uncertainties and higher risks of fatality in combat situations, Unmanned Autonomous Agents (UAA) may be proven to be a safer alternative for carrying our critical missions, such as search and rescue, and reconnaissance operations. In this presentation we discuss a Military Path Planning Algorithm (MPPA) for a robot or an Unmanned Autonomous Agent (UAA) to map out a safe and efficient path from a specified origin to destination in a combat environment surrounded by enemies. It is assumed that the UAA (or robot) moves along a digital terrain and has sensing capability which is a function of distance, i.e., it will not know where the enemies are located unless it is at a certain distance from them. The objective is to reach the destination point from the origin in a safe and efficient manner while maintaining a safe distance from enemies. The MPPA is tested with two enemies randomly located on the terrain along which the UAA moves. Several ongoing works as well as directions of future research are also presented.

Brief Biography of the Speaker:
Dr. Manoj K. Jha is Associate Professor and Founding Director of the Center for Advanced Transportation and Infrastructure Engineering Research (CATIER) in the department of civil engineering at the Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, USA. He obtained a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with transportation specialization from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2000; a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Old Dominion University in 1993; and a B.E. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, India in 1991. He also attended the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during 1993-94 as a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering and Virginia Tech.'s National Capital campus as a post doctoral fellow during 2000-2001.
Dr. Jha's research interests are in investigating mathematic foundation of artificial intelligence-based optimization algorithms, and route optimization and visualization. For his scholastic and research achievements Dr. Jha has received several awards, among which are the 2007 National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Technology Transfer Research (STTR) award; 2005 and 2006 United Negro College Funds Special Program/Department of Defense (UNCFSP/DoD) Faculty Development Award; 2005 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Summer Faculty Research award by the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Center of Excellence, University of Maryland, College Park, and 2005 NSF-PASI-TS (National Science Foundation's Pan-American Advanced Study Institute on Transportation Sciences) award by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Maryland since 1997.
Dr. Jha has served as a PI, Co-PI, or collaborator with other researchers on numerous research projects totaling over $4 million. The key sponsoring agencies of his research projects include Department of Defense, Scientific Research Corporation, Computer Science Corporation, Army Research Lab., Maryland State Highway Administration, Federal Highway Administration, National Science Foundation, and several Baltimore area consulting firms. Dr. Jha has authored (or co-authored) more than 100 articles in journals, books, and conference proceedings in the highway design, optimization, and transportation literature. He has also co-authored 2 books on road design entitled "Intelligent Road Design" and "Fundamentals of Road Design."

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