The current academic climate at Cal State L.A. is conducive to the objectives of the proposed CIRE Program. The campus community recognizes the paradigm change affecting the classroom that is being driven by the demands of industry for workforce talent in critical thinking, teamwork, leadership, and technological competence. Student participants in this collaborative project will be better able to compete in this environment, either in jobs or in academia, through exposure to the Cal State L.A./USC CIRE. Funded research at the School of Engineering and Technology at Cal State L.A. has significantly increased in recent years. One of the major current projects is the $5.3M NASA IA granted to the PI of the proposed CIRE in 1994. Under this five-year program, the PI, Co-PI, and their research associates have developed the SPACE Laboratory, housing a segmented reflector tested. While a monolithic reflector depends on the mechanical properties of its material to provide the dimensional stability required for good optical performance, a reflector build from segments relies on its support structure for stiffness and rigidity and an active control system to maintain alignment of segmented reflectors. The SPACE testbed serves as a generic experimental facility capable of performing experiments that stimulate the complex dynamic behavior of a large segmented optical system. It is used as an experimental facility for addressing, in an integrated way, problems associated with structural dynamics, control of multi-input multi-output systems, optics, electronics, actuators, and sensor design.
The design phase developed methods for shape control and precision pointing and vibration attenuation through advanced analytical and simulation techniques such as finite element method, decentralization, and adaptive control. Cutting-edge technologies for design, system identification, decentralized, and adaptive control for segmented reflectors have been developed. Several challenging theoretical and practical problems in these areas have been overcome. Optimal structural design methodologies have been used to develop mathematical models for the testbed. Efficient computational system identification and control algorithms have been designed. Computer design and analysis software including IDEAS, NASTRAN, MATLAB, and a JPL-developed program, IMOS, were used for design and simulation. Currently fabrication and assembly using end-to-end system integration approach is underway. Performance evaluation, testing, and experimental evaluation are planned for next year. The SPACE program is being conducted through a partnership involving JPL, California State University Long Beach (CSULB), UCB, USC, Lockheed-Martin, TRW, and Schober's Machine. Over 70 minority students have received rigorous research training by participating in the design and development of the testbed. They have been exposed to both the research-associated and competitive aspects of professional conferences, having taken an active part in publication and presentation of technical papers to national and international conference audiences. The laboratory also continues to support numerous Senior Design projects and Masters Theses.
During the last five years the Cal State L.A. NASA IRA (SPACE) program served as the vehicle for strong research collaborations between Cal State L.A. and USC. Several Ph.D. students and a faculty member from USC have been actively involved with the SPACE program. The USC students are spending one to two days per week at the SPACE facility and the faculty participate in a weekly meeting at the same facility. Cal State L.A. students visit USC frequently and receive guidance from their Ph.D. counterparts on advanced control techniques and state-of-the-art software tools. The SPACE program has led to other collaborative research projects between the two institutions. Specifically, a USC Ph.D. student is currently working with one of the Co-PIs at Cal State L.A. on a project related to control of hypersonic flight vehicles.
Under the CIRE program we plan to use the Cal State L.A. NASA IRA (SPACE) program and current collaborations as the base for strengthening the current activities and expanding further into other emerging research ares including multimedia technology. Since the current collaborations and research activities were focused in the areas of controls and modeling of dynamic systems the new efforts will focus on addressing problems in multimedia that are relevant to these topics. Research in the area of animation and visualization tools in the area of multimedia has many useful applications to control and dynamical systems both from the research and educational point of view. IMSC has an exceptional track record of research and publication in multimedia technologies and its application in digital imaging and control.