The objective of this research is to develop the scientific foundation for the quantitative analysis and design of control networks. Control networks are wireless substrates for industrial automation control, such as the WirelessHART and Honeywell's OneWireless, and have fundamental differences over their sensor network counterparts as they also include actuation and the physical dynamics. The approach of the project focuses on understanding cross-cutting interfaces between computing systems, control systems, sensor networks, and wireless communications using time-triggered architectures.
The intellectual merit of this research is based on using time-triggered communication and computation as a unifying abstraction for understanding control networks. Time-triggered architectures enable the natural integration of communication, computation, and physical aspects of control networks as switched control systems. The time-triggered abstraction will serve for addressing the following interrelated themes: Optimal Schedules via Quantitative Automata, Quantitative Analysis and Design of Control Networks: Wireless Protocols for Optimal Control: Quantitative Trust Management for Control Networks.
Various components of this research will be integrated into the PIs' RAVEN control network which is compatible with both WirelessHART and OneWireless specifications. This provides a direct path for this proposal to have immediate industrial impact. In order to increase the broader impact of this project, this project will launch the creation of a Masters' program in Embedded Systems, one of the first in the nation. The principle that guides the curriculum development of this novel program is a unified systems view of computing, communication, and control systems.