Professor Xiaolin Hu wins USDA-NIFA grant
Dr. Xiaolin Hu led a research team winning a $1.2 million USDA-NIFA grant to develop teamed human – Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for wildfire management. The grant is funded by the National Robotics Initiative 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots (NRI-2.0) program and titled “ NRI: INT: COLLAB: Collaborative Autonomy and Safety for Teamed Human-Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Fast Evolving Wildfire Environment”. This is a four-year collaborative project involving Georgia State University, University of Missouri, and University of Kansas. Dr. Xiaolin Hu is the lead principal investigator of this collaborative project, from which GSU will receive $441,080.
Funding from the grant will be used to develop a collaborative human-UAS wildfire spread prediction and situational-awareness system for wildfire management, where UASs work side-by-side with fire managers and ground firefighters. Specific research tasks include (1) fire sensing and wind estimation using a team of UASs to enable data-driven wildfire spread prediction, (2) UAS coordination and path planning algorithms governing UASs’ autonomy to sense dynamic wildfires while monitoring firefighters or other people’s safety in the wildfire area, (3) human-directed autonomy to support teamed human-UAS collaboration, and (4) evaluation of the proposed research by flying a team of UASs over prescribed fires. The project will also develop education and outreach programs focusing on teamed human-UAS collaboration in wildfire management.