Krishnaprasad, Baras, Moss participating in new MURI awards

ISR faculty are members of three research teams that have been awarded new Department of Defense grants through its Multi-disciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program.

Designing Reliable and Secure Tactical MANETs
"Designing Reliable and Secure Tactical MANETs" is headed by Principal Investigator Virgil Gligor (ECE). ISR Founding Director and Professor John Baras (ECE/ISR) is part of the team, which also includes his former student and ISR alum Radha Poovendran (EE Ph.D. '99), now an associate professor at the University of Washington. Jonathan Katz (CS/UMIACS) is also on the team. The Maryland researchers will be joined by a Carnegie Mellon team headed by Adrian Perrig and a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign team led by Nitin Vaidya.

This research will develop and implement practical techniques to integrate MANET reliability and security for tactical operations. The goal is to achieve superior performance characteristics in the face of both failures and deliberate adversary attacks. The research is based on active protocol monitoring for performance, stability and adversary handling; communication channel diversity (e.g., multi-route diversity) for robust end-to-end operation in the face of failures and deliberate attacks; and cross-layer interaction for predicting the effects of performance changes caused by layer-specific failures and attacks on end-to-end MANET operation. The team will use design and analysis techniques found in network theory, statistics, game theory, cryptography, economics and sociology, and system theory to develop, design and analyze models, tools, and mathematical representations for predicting performance and prescribing resilient, secure MANETs.

Exploiting Nonlinear Dynamics for Novel Sensor Networks
The principal investigator for “Exploiting Nonlinear Dynamics for Novel Sensor Networks” is Edward Ott (ECE/PHY). ISR Professor P.S. Krishnaprasad (ECE/ISR) is another of the investigators, along with Tom Antonsen (ECE/PHY), Tom Murphy (ECE), Jim Yorke (MATH/PHY/IPST), John Rodgers (IREAP), Dan Lathrop (PHY/IREAP), Raj Roy (PHY/IPST), and Brian Hunt (MATH/IPST) of Maryland, as well as a team from Duke University led by Dan Gauthier.

This research will develop novel nonlinear dynamics-based concepts, devices and networks for military sensing applications. Experiment, theory and computational techniques will be used to develop radio-frequency, microwave, optical and acoustic sensors based on concepts from nonlinear dynamics. There are four classes of potential devices. One sensor operates at radio frequencies and utilizes a network of chaotic solid state devices. Another sensor works at millimeter wave microwavelengths and employs a network of chaotic microwave time-delay traveling wave tubes. There is an optical sensor that uses vertical cavity surface emitting lasers. Finally, the researchers will develop a low-power acoustic detection system based on wave chaos. This work should yield a new class of military sensors and sensor systems that will be cost-effective, rugged, low-power, resistant to jamming, compact, and stealthy.

Biologically-Inspired Flight for Micro Air Vehicles
The principal investigator for this research project is Kenny Breuer at Brown University. Professor Cynthia Moss (PSY/ISR), an expert on the echolocating bat, is on the investigative team, which also includes Jaime Peraire and Mark Drela from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Belinda Batten from Ohio State University.

The five-year program will study several aspects of bat flight with the goals of identifying, understanding and modeling the complex interrelated mechanisms bats use to achieve their unique flight performance; and exploring ways in which this understanding can be used in the design of engineered micro air vehicles. The research will concentrate on the role of several physical attributes of bats (their flexible skeletons, compliant wing membranes, highly articulated joints and distributed hair sensors) in the fundamental mechanics of unsteady flight and in the neurophysiology of flight sensing and control. Team members are experts in experimental, theoretical and computational methods in fluid dynamics, evolutionary biology, neurophysiology and control theory.

The MURI program supports multi-disciplinary science and engineering research in areas of interest to the Department of Defense. MURIs involve a team of researchers with expertise in a variety of disciplines, which helps accelerate research progress and convert research results to application. The Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) received 129 MURI proposals for 2007; just 36 were selected for funding, based on a merit review by panels of experts. The dollar amounts and durations of the MURIs have not yet been finalized.

| View the complete list of projects selected for fiscal 2007 funding |

Published March 8, 2007