Are you passionate about design of decision-making processes for the next generation of smart, autonomous systems for industry and society. In this project, you will contribute to this topic by developing state-of-the-art design and optimization methodologies for state estimation (virtual sensing) of such complex dynamical systems. Job Description
Many modern technological and industrial systems such as smart grids, traffic systems and high-tech equipment (e.g., lithography machines) are equipped with numerous smart sensors, each of which can only measure a part of the dynamics of such a complex system. However, inferring the complete state of the system, which is essential for monitoring, fault detection and isolation, digital twinning and control, is not possible using any of those individual measurements. A potential solution to the problem of estimating the global state of complex dynamical systems is found in employing so-called distributed observers. A distributed observer is a collection of local observers, each of which has access to local sensor readings only, and a communication protocol that synchronizes the local observers for the purpose of fusing all local measurements into a global state estimate. Thus, distributed observer potentially offers a scalable, flexible and adaptable solution to the state estimation problem.
In the recent years, several distributed observer designs are proposed for linear systems, but little attention is given to nonlinear distributed observer design. This is of interest as many complex systems include nonlinearities, e.g., the nonlinear dynamics of power generators in smart grids, and friction, hysteresis in mechanical systems, nonlinear dynamics of autonomous vehicles, etc. Furthermore, the effects of realistic communication constraints, such as (asynchronous) sampling on the stability and performance of the distributed observer, as well as the development of optimal communication protocols to synchronize the local observers are yet to be explored.
In this project, you will address these open challenges. Your overall aim is to develop methods for the design and optimization of the next generation of distributed nonlinear observers for complex systems. Tasks
Your tasks include (but are not limited to):
- The development of analysis and design methods for distributed nonlinear observers for complex dynamical systems subject to communication constraints (both at the level of the local sensor readings as well as at the level of communication between the local observers).
- Optimization of communication protocols between observers, e.g., minimization the communication load or number of required interactions, or optimizing for security.
- Disseminating the results of your research in international peer-reviewed conferences and journals.
- Developing computational tooling to assist distributed observer design.
- Supervising internships and M.Sc. students in the scope of the above research.
You will execute this project in the Autonomous and Complex Systems
group of the Dynamics and Control (D&C)
section at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Eindhoven University of Technology. The mission of the Dynamics and Control Section, which consists of 22 faculty members and 45 researchers, is to perform research and train next-generation students on the topic of understanding and predicting the dynamics of complex engineering systems in order to develop advanced control, estimation, planning, and learning strategies which are at the core of the intelligent autonomous systems of the future: Designing and realizing smart autonomous systems for industry and society.
With this project, you will contribute to the D&C aim of developing algorithmic techniques for the modelling, prediction, planning, sensing, estimation and control to ensure safe autonomy and certified performance of complex engineering systems. You will have the possibility to work with our collaborators from The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Norway, the UK, and Japan.