Professor Linares receives Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Award




AEM assistant professor Richard Linares was recently awarded the Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). ¬†Professor Linares’ research was chosen out of a pool of over 285 proposal submissions.

This year, the AFOSR awarded 43 scientists and engineers from 37 universities and small businesses across the country. This award is available to scientists and engineers who have received their Ph.D. and work with a research institution. This award aids recipients, or, young investigators, with their early career development and allows insights into the science and engineering challenges the Air Force mission faces.

Professor Linares’ proposal for this award is called, “Optimal Sensor Tasking through Deep Reinforcement Learning for Space Situational Awareness”.¬† His research is based on tracking “space junk” objects that are orbiting the Earth that are potentially detrimental to satellites. Even the smallest of objects could cause damages that would disable satellites and would negatively affect our ability to use technology. This research would aid in tracking certain objects and proactively minimize the likeliness of collision with important systems by using sensor planning algorithms. The goal is to develop a system using an approach called “Deep Reinforcement Learning” that would use artificial intelligence to utilize sensors to track satellites. ¬†