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Research Projects

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering boasts an active and agile research community comprised of our nationally recognized staff, students, and collaborating colleagues. This cadre of scientists is bolstered by grants, both private and public, to further explore our field's unknown horizons.

Our department is filled with knowledgeable, astute individuals dedicated to uncovering new ideas and technology in the areas of Bioelectriconics, Communications, Computer Architecture, Nanoelectronics, and Power Systems. Our department encourages these efforts by providing a number of cutting-edge facilities and services to cultivate scientific progress.

Our research team is world recognized and funded by top names in both the public and private sectors. Government organization such as The National Science Foundation, The Army Research Office, and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as corporations such as Cisco Systems, Qualcomm, Hewlett-Packard, and Red Hat have all allocated resources to further our research and development.

Our college has been awarded two Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) by the National Science Foundation. These ERCs are part of a nation-wide group of university level interdisciplinary centers that work in partnership with local industry to pursue strategic solutions to complex engineering problems. ERCs have the potential to revolutionize entire products, systems, methodologies, and industries. This support is a large reason why our college is ranked seventeenth in the nation in research expenditures and fourteenth in industry support, according to the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2007.

Current Research Grants By Type

 

Research in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering covers the gamut from basic to applied. Specific topics include not only those under our eight research areas, but themes such as novel ways to teach fundamental concepts, engineering as a life-long discipline, and the engineering education community.

The following list represents the projects active during the July 1st, 2017 through June 31st, 2018 fiscal year. Unfunded research is conducted continuously as the scientific curiosity of our faculty lead them to new areas of inquiry. Although we list only the principal investigators from each project, research is typically carried out through collaboration of the faculty, their students, and colleagues. This list of projects is updated daily. Links to compiled listings of previous years' projects are posted on this page's sidebar as they become available.


All Projects: 152 found

Evaluation of Direct Antenna Modulation (DAM) Schemes for Antenna Miniaturization

Jacob James Adams
09/01/14 - 05/22/18

Emerging communication, sensing, and tracking applications continue to require smaller antennas, driven by the form factor of wireless devices. However, while many electronic components benefit from rapidly decreasing size according to Moore’s Law, antennas face miniaturization limitations when their sizes are below a quarter-wavelength that negatively impact their gain, efficiency, system range, and bandwidth.

Due to physical requirements on the amount of electromagnetic energy stored in the near field of resonant structure such as a small antenna, a modulated pulse applied to the antenna inherently experiences some “ringing” in the time domain. In the frequency domain this is equivalent to a narrowband response. Because of this response, the antenna effectively acts as a narrowband filter, and wideband, short-time pulses cannot be effectively transmitted or received, thereby limiting the data rate.

Recent evidence suggests that it may be possible to increase the data rate while maintaining a small electrical size by directly modulating the antenna’s impedance in sequence with the modulated carrier wave applied to the antenna’s feed. However, no comparison has been made between the direct antenna modulation (DAM) scheme and a conventional scheme using typical communications metrics. In this project, we will 1) design and simulate a DAM transmitter and conventional receiver in order to understand how varying signal to noise ratios (SNR) affect key system metrics such as bit error rate (BER) and 2) develop a testbed to generate DAM signals with a reconfigurable antenna in order to characterize the performance of these systems.

This project is sponsored by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Modeling and Characterization of Wideband Communications Via Narrowband Channels Using Direct Modulation

Jacob James Adams
09/15/16 - 09/14/18

Long distance communications rely on HF, VHF, and UHF wireless systems where wavelengths are over 1 meter long. Conventionally, resonant antennas are used in mobile applications in these bands, due to the large size required for more broadband structures. A resonant antenna in steady state can only effectively transmit a narrow range of frequencies. However, if the antenna’s properties are modulated at a rate on the order of the symbol frequency, then the antenna becomes a time variant system that may circumvent the physical limitations of small antennas. Experiments have indicated that unusually wideband emissions from small antennas are possible, though further study is needed to address the fundamental questions in this area and improve the present understanding of time-varying radiators. The overall scientific goal of this proposal is to establish models and design methodologies for radiating systems with rapidly time-varying properties.

This project is sponsored by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

RESEARCH AREA 4: ELECTRONICS: Reconfigurable Electrofluidic Networks for Highly Adaptive Electronic Warfare Platforms

Jacob James Adams
04/21/17 - 04/20/20

Military communication, navigation, and radar systems must operate in electromagnetically contested environments with high fidelity. In this environment, the ideal electromagnetic (EM) platform consists of a multi-functional (sensing, communications, electronic attack) and highly adaptive, able to generate and sense radiation across a wide range of frequencies, with controllable directional and polarization sensitivity. Among the critical needs for such “smart” radios are reconfigurable antennas that can dynamically change their radiation patterns or frequency response. Here we propose networks of liquid metal embedded in the skin of a vehicle, aircraft, or other communications/sensing platform. These electrofluidic (EF) networks are physically reconfigurable – the conductors can be moved in and out of particular channels to change the electromagnetic characteristics of the platform. The proposed work encompasses several goals towards controlling and realizing these EF networks.

This project is sponsored by US Army.

Ultrastretchable Conductive Fibers for Adaptive, Field Expedient Antennas

Jacob James Adams, Michael D. Dickey
02/05/16 - 02/04/18

The key advance of the proposed work is antennas with metallic conductivity combined with the elastomeric mechanical properties of fibers. Further research is needed to advance these stretchable conductors into antenna applications. Here, we propose a series of studies to realize electrically and mechanically connected stretchable conductors and integrate them into practical antennas. The scope of this work includes developing new stretchable and reconfigurable antenna designs, interconnects to mate flexible conductors to rigid connectors, and an analysis of the electrical, thermal and mechanical performance of liquid metal antennas in realistic operational scenarios.

This project is sponsored by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Silicon Carbide Devices for FID and SST Applications

B. Jayant Baliga, Alex Q. Huang, Veena Misra, Douglas C Hopkins
09/01/08 - 08/31/17

10 kV SiC MPS rectifiers with high temperature operating capability are being developed for use in the solid-state-transformer within the NSF FREEDM Systems Center. The devices will reduce power losses allowing operation of the circuits at higher frequencies, reducing heat sink requirements, and shirking the size. The effort includes analysis of device physics, chip design, chip fabrication, and testing of electrical characteristics.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

DGI Algorithms for Volt-Var Control

Mesut E. Baran
09/01/11 - 08/31/17

Volt/var control is one of the key applications on a FREEDM system which require fast response. In last three years, PI have developed algorithms for this application. The first application involves using directional Overcurrent Relays with a pilot signal to provide alternative protection for the FREEDM system which does not require very fast communication. The second application involves a volt/var control scheme to provide voltage control on a FREEDM system. A distributed control scheme has been developed for this purpose.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

CAREER: Compiler and Runtime Support for Irregular Applications on Many-Core Processors

Michela Becchi
01/01/17 - 01/31/20

The overall goal of the project is the design of compiler and runtime techniques to effectively deploy graph and other irregular applications on many-core processors, while hiding from the programmer the complexity and heterogeneity of the underlying hardware and software stack. Since the degree of parallelism within irregular applications is heavily data dependent, the proposed compiler techniques will aim to generate multiple platform-specific code variants starting from high-level platform agnostic algorithmic descriptions. The runtime techniques will focus on the selection of the most appropriate code variant and its tuning to the underlying hardware and the input datasets.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

NeTS: Small: A Language-Based Approach to Deep Packet Inspection: from Theory to Practice

Michela Becchi
01/01/17 - 08/31/17

The project has four major goals:

1) Design of algorithmic techniques to handle large sets of complex regular expressions. Datasets from networking applications (such as network intrusion detection systems) typically contain several hundreds (or thousands) of complex patterns, and current solutions based on deterministic and non-deterministic finite automata (DFA and NFA, respectively) are inadequate to address such large and complex datasets. To tackle this problem, we propose a language-based approach and new automata abstractions. As part of this approach, we study categories of patterns that are difficult to express in terms of regular expressions, but can be more easily handled through automata-based descriptions.

2) Design of mechanisms to perform high-speed regular expression matching on out-of-order packets without requiring packet reordering.

3) Design of mechanisms to perform high-speed regular expression matching on compressed traffic in parallel to packet decompression.

4) Implementation of the proposed techniques on parallel hardware (such as FPGA platforms).

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

SHF: Medium: Collaborative Research: A Comprehensive Methodology to Pursue Reproducible Accuracy in Ensemble Scientific Simulations on Multi- and Many-Core Platforms

Michela Becchi
01/01/17 - 05/31/18

The overarching goal of this project is to tackle reproducibility problems due to the use of floating point arithmetic in scientific simulations running on parallel platforms that include multicore processors coupled with many-core accelerators. Specifically, the project encompasses two major goals/activities:

First, identify common sources of accuracy errors and study their accumulation, propagation, and runtime effects in a controlled environment. This phase includes three research activities: (i) modeling into code motifs those computations that may lead to accuracy errors; (ii) providing multiple implementations of these motifs, which we call code inspectors, targeting different parallel platforms; and (iii) evaluating the accuracy and runtime of these implementations using a variety of datasets and stress conditions.

Second, install these code inspectors in real scientific code bases and, thus, study their behavior in uncertain environments. This phase includes two research activities: (i) prioritizing code segments based on quantitative impact scores and matching segments to inspector motifs and (ii) finding the optimal code inspector implementations and patching the code with them so as to optimize the overall result variance.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

SHF: Small: Collaborative Research: The Automata Programming Paradigm for Genomic Analysis

Michela Becchi, Gavin Conant
03/01/17 - 07/31/18

Thanks to recent advances in DNA sequencing technology, a number of genomic analysis tasks - such as reference-based and de novo sequence assembly, taxa identifications in metagenomic sequences, orthology inference and regulatory motif search - can nowadays operate on increasingly large volumes of data. All these applications perform, at their core, some kind of pattern matching operations, a computation that maps naturally onto finite automata abstractions. It has been shown that large scale automata processing can be efficiently accelerated on streaming architectures such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). However, the low level programming interface of these devices has hampered their widespread adoption within the bioinformatics community. As an alternative, Micron Technology has recently announced its SDRAM-based Automata Processor (AP), which will come with an automata-based programming interface. However, the position that this emerging technology will take in the realm of existing streaming accelerators is unclear: in particular, its capabilities in handling big data and diverse computations as well as its programmability must still be understood. In this research we aim to study novel programmatic descriptions of several genomic analysis tasks obtained by re-describing each operation using an automata-based programming model, and map such this programming model onto FPGA platforms and onto Micron’s AP. Our goal is two-fold: on one hand, we aim to facilitate the adoption of these accelerators within the scientific community; on the other, we seek to investigate the benefits and limitations of these technologies when targeting a variety of pattern matching operations at large scale.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Eager: Tandem Solar Cells of Two Dissimilar Material Systems

Salah M. Bedair
05/01/17 - 04/30/19

We propose two years research program to address the current issues of connecting two solar cells in a tandem structure. The propose approach is versatile and can be applied to several solar cell combination’s with different band gaps. It also lifts the current restrictions of lattice matching for the tandem cell components and can also be used to connect cells made of materials with different expansion coefficient.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Engineering Strain in InGaN/GaN Multiple Quantum Wells for Improved Optical Devices

Salah M. Bedair, Nadia A. El-Masry
09/01/14 - 08/31/18

Current optical devices based on InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well (MQW) structures suffer from poor performance at long emission wavelengths due to low quantum efficiency and the droop phenomena. Some of the limitations are related to the very high strain and the accompanied piezoelectric fields present in the InGaN wells. We propose a strain balanced multiple quantum well (SBMQW) structure made of a thick InxGa1-xN template followed by InyGa1-yN/GaN MQW, where x < y.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

10kV SiC Integrated VSD Motor Drive

Subhashish Bhattacharya
08/01/16 - 07/31/19

The project team will develop an integrated MV SiC VSD drive and high speed motor for oil and gas industry compression system applications. To meet the power density and environmental requirements of an integrated drive, the team will develop and package a variable frequency drive topology utilizing 15kV SiC MOSFET devices, high-frequency inductors and dv/dt filters, and other customized peripherals including high temperature capacitors. The team will develop drive architectures, device controls and electrical integration techniques to take advantage of high speed SiC switching. Eaton’s state-of-the-art MV converter packaging and innovative integrated cooling concepts will produce a design capable of being fully integrated into a high speed motor with hermetically sealed enclosure. The team will use advanced machine design techniques to identify best candidate motors for integration based on system and motor performance goals, TRL, drive integration requirements and will develop solutions to address identified technology gaps.

This project is sponsored by Eaton Corporation.

Amorphous and Nanocomposite Magnets for High Efficiency, High Speed Motor Designs

Subhashish Bhattacharya
03/01/17 - 02/28/20

Amorphous and Nanocomposite Magnets for High Efficiency, High Speed Motor Designs

Electric motors use soft and/or hard ferromagnets to produce or direct spatiotemporally varying magnetic flux. World Bank reports [1] the US consumed ~4 trillion kW-h of electricity in 2009 with ~30% consumed by motors. New materials can reduce losses (~58%) between the rotor and stator with a 1% improved motor efficiency results in saving ~12 billion kW-h. Rare earth (RE) permanent magnet (PM) motors are popular but soft magnetic materials (SMMs) provide the greatest potential for energy savings [2-4]. Supply constraints on RE elements (China controls ~ 80%), cause concerns which led NATO to classify them as critical elements [5-6]. We will demonstrate RE-free 5 kW motors with 4% increased efficiency using metal amorphous nanocomposite (MANC) SMMs. A 200 W power loss, portioned equally, will need power reductions of: a) controller: 50 W; (b) copper loss: 50 W; (c) iron loss: 50 W; (d) windage, 50 W.

MANCs are a transformational technology to increase efficiency and limit RE use in high speed electric motors (HSEMs). Hybrid motors employ a REPM rotor and high induction SMM stator. New SMMs replacing laminated FeSi in stators can reduce motor size [3-4]. CMU MANC SMMs [7] have inductions comparable to Si-steels and resistivities [8] to enable high switching f’s necessary for high torques to allow motor size and weight reduction. We will investigate MANC motors targeting 1-10 kHz frequencies in stator geometries for HSEMs. Materials development builds on Fe-Co [9], Co-rich [10] and Ni-rich [11] MANCs with high inductions, low losses, strain induced anisotropy and excellent mechanical and high-T magnetic properties. MANC SMMs investigated in high-f ARPA-E power transformation applications resulted in a T2M plan to penetrate motor markets. MANCs have (1) low direct-current (dc) hysteresis losses; (2) thinner laminations offering lower ac eddy-current losses. Lower iron losses than Si steel sheets, allow MANC motors to operate at higher rotational speeds. PPMT (Parallel Path Magnetic Technology) topology motors with Co-base MANCs, as compared to Si steel, allowed a high-speed design reducing machine size (~70 %), and RE hard magnet volume (~83 %).

This project is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University.

Demonstration of Validated SST Models in Looped System LSSS Case Studies Including Islanding, Blackstart, volt/var (VVC) and CVR Control Functionalities

Subhashish Bhattacharya
09/01/12 - 08/31/17

GEH system integration and validation of three LV-SSTs tied to MV FREEDM lab GEH grid with DRER (PV) and DESD (BESS – Battery ESS) to demonstrate DGI based IEM and IPM functionalities, including islanding, and black-start (Grid Forming) in a microgrid platform.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

Flexible Large Power Solid State Transformer

Subhashish Bhattacharya
01/01/17 - 01/01/18

The project shall propose Flexible Large Power Solid State Transformer (FLPSST) with an objective to achieve greater standardization to increase grid resilience. The FLPSST will be a modular solution, where flexible voltage ratings will be achieved by series/parallel connection of a basic building block. Each building block comprises of a power electronics based medium frequency transformer. The use of the standard basis building block can reduce manufacturing cost and inventory cost. Moreover, it will enable greater interchangeability. As against the conventional line frequency transformer, this solution will exhibit substantial size and weight reduction, thanks to the use of the medium-frequency isolation stage. This feature will drastically reduce the time and cost associated with the transportation. Moreover, the medium frequency transformer is significantly smaller than the line frequency transformer. As a result, the requirement of the raw material (copper and magnetic material) can be significantly reduced and partial isolation against the price volatility of these metals can be achieved. Due to very limited domestic production capability of the Large Power Transformers (specially the extra high voltage transformers), the U.S. mainly relies on the import. In 2013 alone, 496 units totaling $676 million are imported in the U.S. The paradigm shift from line frequency transformer to solid state transformer (power electronics based transformer) could help in reducing the import of these transformers and associated issues, such as extended lead time and fluctuation of currency exchange rates. To achieve these objectives, the proposed research activities will focus on:

1. Optimal power and voltage specifications of the basic building block, such that it can be combined to achieve standard voltage levels in existing substations.

2. Optimal design of the basic building block with an objective to reduce the losses and volume/weight.

3. System level integration with an objective to achieve voltage and current balancing between the basic building blocks.

4. FLPSST modeling and analysis.

5. Validation in a real-time simulation platform.

6. Performance assessment and comparison with the conventional large power transformer.

This project is sponsored by US Dept. of Energy (DOE).

GEH - Cost-Benefit analysis for FREEDM System

Mesut E. Baran, Subhashish Bhattacharya, Alex Q. Huang
09/01/11 - 08/31/17

There are two main subtasks in this project:

ST1 (Baran): Benefit of Volt/Var control and Advanced protection on FREEDM systems.

This subtask aims at conducting comparative studies on a prototype FREEDM system in order to assess the effectiveness of Volt/Var control and System Protection on a FREEDM system as compared to a conventional system. This assessment can then be used to do cost/benefit analysis on the FREEDM systems.

Dr. Baran has been working on these two applications –volt/var control and system protection and has conducted preliminary assessment studies. To facilitate the assessment, basic benefits metrics have been defined. This task aims at conducting a more comprehensive benefits analysis by using the FREEDM system developed for LSSS testbed

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

Green Energy Hub (GEH) Demonstration Year 7

David Lee Lubkeman, Subhashish Bhattacharya, Mo-Yuen Chow, Iqbal Husain, Ning Lu
08/15/14 - 08/31/17

The Green Energy Hub testbed is an integrated hardware system demonstration incorporating technologies from the Enabling Technology and Fundamental Science research planes

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

HV SiC MOSFET Enabled Solid State Transformers (SST) for MUSE (Mobile Utility Support Equipment) based Nano-Grid Applications

Subhashish Bhattacharya
01/03/17 - 01/02/18

HV SiC MOSFET Enabled Solid State Transformers (SST) for MUSE (Mobile Utility Support Equipment) based Nano-Grid Applications

This project proposes to build 100kVA SST prototype in the NCSU laboratory to be delivered to SPAWAR (ONR) to test its long term reliability, characterize the new technologies and evaluate the EMI signatures for MUSE (Mobile Utility Support Equipment) based Nano-Grid applications. This paper lists the expected key challenges, i.e. those related to high dv/dt related insulation stress, high conducted and radiated RF signatures, and reliability of SiC MOSFETs at elevated ambient temperatures. Broad directions have been defined where the solutions to the above problems will be provided. It also lists the interconnected areas which are out of the scope of the paper, but need to be investigated, such as Area 2,3,6,7,8 as described in section I of the BAA. The 4160V/480V SST prototype – extendable up to 500kVA, 13.2kV/480V – will be developed with intelligent gate driver, optimal thermal design and appropriate control architecture for improved reliability; and it will be used to investigate and solve the listed challenges.

Solid State Transformers (SST) have the potential to provide an alternative to conventional utility frequency transformers. The main objective of the project will be to investigate the performance, to provide reliability monitoring during operation, application and cost of wide bandgap power semiconductor devices for use in SSTs, which will be the replacement for the Mobile Utility Support Equipment (MUSE) substation transformers. The SST will be built for research and evaluation with following objectives:

a. Demonstrate and conduct long term reliability testing of the SST under varying load and source conditions

b. Characterization and degradation of all SST system components under varying load and source conditions

c. Evaluation of SST system reliability, including online measurements of Tj (Junction Temperature) of HV SiC MOSFETs, voltage drifts and conduction and switching losses

d. Evaluation of conducted and radiated RF signatures

This project is sponsored by US Navy - Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR).

NYPA Convertible Static Compensator (CSC) Control System and Development of a CS Real-Time Digital Simulation Model

Subhashish Bhattacharya
08/01/16 - 07/31/17

Development, Testing and commissioning support of a new control system developed for New York Power Authority’s Convertible Static Compensator (CSC). The research, development, validation and testing of the new control system platform will be done on an existing Transient Network Analyzer (TNA), which is the analog simulator originally used for the CSC system testing, when the device was built and is considered the only validated model of the device. The TNA is currently operational and located at the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center at the North Carolina State University Campus, in Raleigh, NC. In addition, NYPA is also looking into the development of a real time digital simulation (RTDS) model of the Convertible Static Compensator, which should also be validated against the existing TNA and would be used in the future as benchmark for the CSC system on an RTDS Controller Hardware-in-the-Loop (CHIL), platform in place of the TNA.

This project is sponsored by New York Power Authority.

Sunshot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership (SUNLAMP) Combined PV/Battery Grid Integration with High Frequency Magnetics Enabled Power Electronics

Subhashish Bhattacharya
03/01/16 - 03/31/19

The PI (Subhashish Bhattacharya) NCSU is responding to the NETL RFI number: DE-FOA-0001314 Technical Collaboration Opportunities # 3 for the above titled DOE SunShot based SuNLaMP proposal.

In this proposal NETL proposes to develop new power electronics converters using high frequency semiconductors and magnetics for 13.8kV, 60Hz grid connection of distributed photovoltaics (PV) in a modular DC-DC and/or DC-AC cascading inverter designs.

This project is sponsored by NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory).

A Miniaturized Wireless System to Detect and Predict Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children with Down Syndrome

Alper Yusuf Bozkurt
08/03/15 - 08/02/17

This award is granted towards developing a low cost, low power, low noise, miniaturized, wireless system that can simultaneously record electrophysiological signals (electroencephalography (EEG), electrooculography (EOG)), cerebral hemodynamic changes (Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS)) and head movement (inertial measurements) to study and predict abnormal sleep performance in children (age 2 – 5 years) with Down syndrome.

This project is sponsored by Jerome Lejeune Foundation USA.

CAREER: Bio-electro-photonic Microsystem Interfaces for Small Animals

Alper Yusuf Bozkurt
02/15/16 - 01/31/21

The goal of this project is to develop novel biophotonic devices and systems for studying global hemodynamic parameters in small animals. Such a system would respond to the critical need for small, wireless, minimally invasive systems for recording key physiological parameters during daily living activities in both laboratory environments and natural habitats without disturbing natural behavior and requiring a surgical implantation.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

CPS: Synergy: Integrated Sensing and Control Algorithms for Computer-Assisted Training

David L Roberts, Alper Yusuf Bozkurt, Barbara Lynn Sherman, Darcy Brittain Adin
10/01/13 - 09/30/18

We are establishing two-way computer-mediated communication between working search and rescue dogs and their handlers. The vision is to bring novel CPS technology to bear on the problem of establishing more effective, reliable, and informative communication between dogs and humans in a variety of settings. To achieve this vision, we are developing technologies to monitor dogs' behaviors and emotions, send commands to dogs remotely, and monitor the environments the dogs are working in.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Electronic-Enabled Sock Design for Biometrics Monitoring

Jesse Jur, Alper Yusuf Bozkurt
10/15/16 - 07/31/17

The goal of this work is to develop a prototype textile-based wearable sock that demonstrates functional embedded sensing. The intent of this prototype is to show technical feasibility to Medline senior management as an input to their internal strategy and steering decisions related to future product lines.

This project is sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc..

Fiber Based Fabric Sensors

Alper Yusuf Bozkurt, Tushar K. Ghosh
08/01/15 - 07/31/18

Textiles constitute an obvious choice as multifunctional platforms, since they are worn and used to cover and drape over many of the surfaces around us. They are commonly used to provide protection in hostile environments. The present work proposes a systematic investigation into sensory characteristics of textile structures assembled from multicomponent fibers to produce fiber-based sensory textiles that are capable of generating measurable electrical response under various stimuli.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Instrument to Co-register EEG and NIRS for Accurate Sleep Sorting

Alper Yusuf Bozkurt
09/22/14 - 08/31/17

A wireless miniaturized electro-encephalography and near-infrared spectroscopy system will be developed in the form factors of an adhesive bandage. This system will be used to sort sleep stages during all night sleep of healthy human subjects. The efficacy of the system will be assessed and bench-marked with traditional clinical measurements during sleep studies.

This project is sponsored by National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Low Power Pulse Oximetry System (changed from "Low Power and Flexible Physiological Sensors" in March 2017)

Alper Yusuf Bozkurt
09/01/12 - 08/31/17

This project aims to investigate the ways to lower the power consumption in traditional photoplethysmogram (PPG) and pulse oximetry (pulse-ox) systems as well as exploring the emerging novel device level developments especially from a wearability, power consumption and manufacturability aspect. To achieve this, the project personnel will focus on fabrication and optimization of organic photonic devices and lowering the power consumption of the supporting front-end circuitry. The ultimate goal is to provide a sub-milliwatt PPG and pulse oximetry system for the Health and Environmental Tracker (HET) testbed. This will enable the capability of tracking various physiological parameters such as heart rate, heart rate variability, arterial oxygen saturation in addition to estimating blood pressure, detecting onset of asthma attacks, predicting the stress levels of subjects and monitor biochemical parameters.

As the testbed leader, the focus of this year will be the integration of biochemical sensors into the HET testbed as well as collection of data to establish the ASSIST HET database.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center.

Modular Nanoengineering for the Future of Bits and Bytes

Alper Yusuf Bozkurt
11/01/13 - 10/31/17

The purpose of this grant application is to develop a course (Nanoengineering for the Information Age) that will ingratiate freshman and sophomore students with principle of operation of electronic devices that sense to collect information, actuate to transmit information, and store and process information. The aim of the subaward is to develop hands-on course modules to be embedded as laboratory applications to various existing courses in the Electrical Engineering curriculum at NC State. In the long run, these initial efforts and experiences will help to set-up the related facilities, bring the necessary logistics together and prepare the teaching assistants to be able to offer the proposed ?Nanoengineering for the Information Age? course as an independent class at NC State.

This project is sponsored by Cornell University.

SCH:INT: Novel Textile based Sensors for Inner Prosthetic Socket Environment Monitoring

Alper Yusuf Bozkurt, He Huang, Tushar K. Ghosh
09/01/16 - 08/31/20

This proposal aims at solving a long-standing problem in the field of prosthetics –lack of inner-socket sensor technology. Due to this limitation, monitoring the inner socket environment (such as socket pressure, moisture, and temperature) is impossible. The proposed textile based multimodal sensor interface will be evaluated in real-time inner socket environment monitoring to enable self-management.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

CAREER: Wide-Area Control of Large Power Systems Using Distributed Synchrophasors: Where Network Theory Meets Power System Dynamics

Aranya Chakrabortty
03/01/11 - 08/31/17

This NSF-CAREER proposal strives for novel and transformative approaches to formulate, investigate and validate the almost untouched problem of wide-area damping control of large-scale electric power systems using synchronized phasor measurements. Following the US Northeast blackout of 2003, tremendous research efforts have been devoted to the visualization and postmortem analyses of Synchrophasors, leading to a formative understanding of how the Wide-area Measurement System (WAMS) technology may be used for dynamic health monitoring of complex power system networks. However, owing partly to a slowness in learning, and partly to a shortage of control system engineers in the WAMS community, no rigorous research has yet been done to transcend from monitoring to the next phase - namely, feedback control. With over 132 Phasor Measurement Units (PMU) currently operating in the US West Coast power system, and over 60 PMUs operating in the Eastern Interconnect, producing over 2 billion data samples per day, control by human operators is obviously not sustainable. An autonomous, highly distributed, bandwidth-efficient, real-time control system is needed to shape the oscillatory dynamics of these interconnections using Synchrophasor-feedback.

This project will make a step towards building such control systems, using concepts of nonlinear circuit theory, fundamental physics, and graph theory.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Collaborative Research: Computational Methods for Stability Assessment of Power Systems with High Penetration of Clean Renewal Energy

Aranya Chakrabortty
08/01/15 - 07/31/18

This 2-year NSF project is a collaboration between MIT (main lead), NC State University, and University of Notre Dame. The main purpose of the project is to develop a suite of novel numerical computational algorithms by which very large complicated mathematical models of large power system networks can be constructed and solved in real-time, or even faster than real-time. The study will involve complex network models of power grids with high penetration of wind and solar power, and their associated stochasticity, and make use of new ideas from algebraic topology theory to develop solutions of those models. Validation will be done using the RTDS-WAMS testbed at FREEDM systems center.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Collaborative Research: CPS: Synergy: Distributed Asynchronous Algorithms and Software Systems for Wide-Area Monitoring of Power Systems

Aranya Chakrabortty, Frank Mueller
10/01/13 - 09/30/18

The objective of this NSF-CPS Synergy proposal is to develop a distributed algorithmic frame- work, supported by a highly fault-tolerant software system, for executing critical transmission-level operations of the North American power grid using gigantic volumes of Synchrophasor data. As the number of Phasor Measurement Units (PMU) increases to more than thousands in the next 4-5 years, it is rather intuitive that the current state-of-the-art centralized communication and information processing architecture of Wide-Area Measurement System (WAMS) will no longer be sustainable under such data-explosion, and a completely distributed cyber-physical architecture will need to be developed. The North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI) is currently address- ing this architectural aspect by developing new communication and computing protocols through NASPInet and Phasor Gateway. However, almost no attention has yet been paid to perhaps the most critical consequence of this envisioned distributed architecture - namely distributed algorithms. Our primary task, therefore, will be to develop parallel computational methods for solving real-time wide-area monitoring and control problems with analytical investigation of their stability, convergence and robustness properties, followed by their implementation and testing against extraneous malicious attacks using our WAMS-RTDS testbed at NC State.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

CPS: TTP Option: Synergy: Collaborative Research: Hardening Network Infrastructures for Fast, Resilient, and Cost-Optimal Wide-Area Control of Power Systems

Aranya Chakrabortty, Alexandra Duel-Hallen
09/15/15 - 08/31/18

The objective of this 3-year NSF-CPS proposal is to address three fundamental research challenges required for transcending wide-area communication and control of the North American power grid from a mere optimistic vision to a sustainable reality. Following the US Northeast blackout of 2003 and the subsequent advancement of Synchrophasor technology over the past decade utility owners have gradually started to look beyond the traditional myopic approach of local output feedback and instead use wide-area measurement feedback. However, currently a huge gap exists between implementing such controls using of realistic communication networks in a reliable and economic way. Majority of the ongoing NASPI-net activities are devoted to the hardware architectural planning of aspects of wide-area communication with very little attention to how complicated MIMO control loops, when implemented on top of this communication, may perform under various operating conditions. The vision of this project is to underline the necessity of constructing such an integrated, robust and economically sustainable wide-area communication and control infrastructure by addressing three critical research challenges that stand in its way - namely, (1) understanding how distributed multi-input multi-output (MIMO) controllers dictate and depend on the operational rules of underlying communication systems, and how the two should be co-designed in sync with each other, (2) investigating how wide-area communication can be made economically feasible and sustainable via joint decision-making processes between participating utility companies, and testing how controls can play a potential role in facilitating such economics, and finally (3) exploiting new design ideas of software-defined networks (SDN) so that wide-area communication is not merely a data-transporter but also facilitates the closed-loop dynamic performance of the grid.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

EAGER: Collaborative Research: Spatially Continuous Modeling of Power System Oscillations with Renewable Energy Penetration

Aranya Chakrabortty
09/01/17 - 12/31/18

In a large power network, where widely dispersed generators are interconnected through tielines, the essential characteristic that provides flawless power transmission through the network is synchronized swing of all generators. However in the presence of any disturbances, which may be caused due to any number of reasons including generation trips and outages or load changes, asynchronous motion can result. Such a motion leads to oscillations in the rotation frequency and angle as it can lead to increasing frequency swings, which are denoted as swing dynamics. This problem has been addressed extensively and is the subject of numerous publications. Most of the existing approaches are based on spatially discrete modeling, implemented by ordinary differential equations (ODEs), and focus on analysis and synthesis using the ODE-models. Our thesis, in contrast, is that when the number of generators is relatively large the fundamental mechanism that produces the phase and frequency oscillations is a continuous one. As a result, accurate and physically oriented methods for mitigating and suppressing these oscillations are better realized through the use of partial differential equations (PDEs). We therefore propose a PDE-based approach for modeling the power grid.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

SEP Collaborative: Integrating Heterogeneous Energy Resources For Sustainable Power Networks - A Systems Approach

Aranya Chakrabortty
09/15/12 - 08/31/18

This project will take a unique approach in examining how management and control of large-scale and distributed energy resources can contribute to both stabilization and improving the performance of for power systems with high penetration of renewable energy. The research will involve a system theoretic end-to-end analysis from detailed characterization of the energy sources through propagation of these inputs through the power transmission and distribution network. An important aspect of the proposed research is the ability of this interdisciplinary team to examine not only the technical and physical system challenges but to include the related regulatory, policy and market challenges that must be dealt with in order to implement any proposed power system changes.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

SITARA: Smart Grids to Harness Satellite Based Virtual Power Plants for Energy Sustainability

Aranya Chakrabortty
03/31/15 - 09/30/17

This project looks at the novel concept of Virtual Power Plants (VPP) in urban cities. This is grouping of individual consumers who individually generate little amounts of electricity, for example with PV cells, but when taken as a group become a VPP producing more significant amounts of energy. A number of these virtual power plants, which could be at different cities, can also be grouped together to form a more significant power plant or a Virtual Power Network (VPN). The VPN can be treated in a similar way as individual power stations feeding into the grid. Growing urban cities naturally can favour such a development because of the density of consumers, and the availability of investment and existing infrastructure. In order for such VPPs to operate, there is a need to interpret information from many consumers, and then to determine the best way forward to meet peak demand which can lead to outages. Data analytics applied at various aspects of the grid will be needed. At the higher power network side, online measurements of voltage, current, active/rective power from different locations in the grid using GPS-synchronized sophisticated digital sensors called Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) can be utilised to reduce the impact of islanding and to improve transient stability.

This project is sponsored by University of Bradford.

US Ignite: Track 1: Collaborative Research: DISTINCT: A Distributed Multi-Loop Networked System for Wide-Area Control of Large Power Grids

Aranya Chakrabortty
09/01/15 - 08/31/18

This project will develop a wide-area communication network for real-time monitoring and control of power systems. The PI will work with his collaborators from UNC Chapel Hill and University of Rochester to accomplish the following three tasks - 1. Develop a theoretical distributed algorithm by which Synchrophasor data feedback can be used for oscillation damping in very large power grids, 2. Develop control techniques for regulating communication delays in software defined networks (SDN) that form the backbone for data transport in the distributed control algorithm developed in Task 1, and 3. Develop discrete-time decision making rules in the SDN by which virtual machines in the network can be rerouted and rescheduled to carry our real-time control actions within stated time-deadlines despite the failure of any given set of machines. Experiments will be demonstrated using the ExoGENI-WAMS testbed developed at the FREEDM Systems Center at NC State.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Breakthrough: Collaborative: Secure Algorithms for Cyber-Physical Systems

Mo-Yuen Chow
07/15/15 - 06/30/18

The objective of this proposal is to formulate a novel methodology for creating secure algorithms in cyber-physical systems and to develop metrics for evaluating the security of composed systems. Cyber-physical systems are composed of interconnected, semi-autonomous devices. The inherently open nature of a CPS implies a susceptibility to attacks that differ fundamentally from conventional cyber attacks. CPS-specific attack vectors exist as purely cyber, cyber-enabled physical attacks, and physically enabled cyber attacks. As such, the endpoints may be fundamentally unsecurable (such as the sensed information from physical resources) or may be compromised (as in computational resources). Creating a secure communications channel between two nodes is inadequate if one of the endpoints of the communication is insecure. Therefore, new methodologies are needed to ensure that the system is protected in the presence of open information flows from physical resources and possibly malicious entities inside the system.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Distributed Control of FREEDM System (former Distributed Grid Intelligence)

Mo-Yuen Chow
09/01/08 - 08/31/17

• Research and develop Cooperative Distributed Energy Scheduling (CoDES) algorithm ver 2.0 with the following features:

o Consider DESD charging/discharging efficiencies in scheduling

o Consider battery degradation factors in the scheduling process

o Integrate load balancing algorithm with CoDES algorithm to do real-time adjustment through collaboration with MST

o Consider demand charge in the objective function to do peak shaving

o Investigate efficient strategies/algorithms to incorporate plug-and-play features such as addition/removal of devices into CoDES in DGI 2.0 Framework

• Research and develop a resilient neighborhood-watch algorithm to secure the Cooperative Distributed Energy Scheduling (CoDES) algorithm in FREEDM system

o Investigate the vulnerabilities of CoDES by designing different types of attack on it

o Analyze the potential impacts of the attacks on CoDES

o Develop a resilient neighborhood-watch algorithm to counter the potential attacks

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

NIA Master Cooperative Agreement to Support Base Funding Research

Matthew K. Ronning, Mo-Yuen Chow, Harvey T. Banks, Ashok Gopalarathnam, Vinod K. Saxena, Gregory D. Buckner, Mohammad Noori, Fuh G. Yuan, Jack R. Edwards, Fred R. DeJarnette, Robert T. Nagel
10/01/02 - 09/25/17

No abstract currently available.

This project is sponsored by National Institute of Aerospace.

Online Adaptive Parameter Identification and SoC Co-estimation

Mo-Yuen Chow
11/23/16 - 02/28/18

Online Adaptive Parameter Identification and SoC Co-Estimation

This project will develop

1. A battery model for online parameter identification and SOC co-estimation

2. Online parameter identification and SOC co-estimation including battery degradation

3. Online parameter identification and SOC co-estimation algorithm considering noise

4. Online parameter identification and SOC co-estimation algorithm considering temperature

5. The algorithm integration test in battery pack

This project is sponsored by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd..

PFI:AIR - TT: Prototyping a Smart Battery Gauge Technology for Stationary Energy Storage of Renewable Energy Resources

Mo-Yuen Chow, Jason Lamb, Dinesh Divakaran
04/01/15 - 09/30/17

This Accelerating Innovation Technology Translation project focuses on translating a novel Smart Battery Gauge technology to fill the increasing need for accurate battery state of charge (SOC) and remaining useful life (RUL) estimations for stationary energy storage of renewable energy. Although the large-scale integration of renewable energy into the power grid is driving for the growing demand in stationary energy storage, the reliability and safety concern remains as the major barrier that prevents its widespread deployment. The Smart Battery Gauge technology aims to improve the reliability and safety of energy storage systems. As compared to the existing battery monitoring methods, the reliably accurate estimation date generated by this technology will provide systems management and operations with the advantages of improved energy storage system efficiency, reliability, cost-effectiveness, longer lifespan, and reduced capital and operation/maintenance costs. In order to determine the technical feasibility and functional requirements of applying this technology in the stationary energy storage market and provide a commercially valuable solution, this project will result in a software prototype of the Smart Battery Gauge technology to demonstrate its real-time adaptive battery SOC and RUL estimations with market-leading accuracy and reliability, and its flexible customization for multiple different battery chemistries. The objectives of this project are to: 1) Extract the relevant data and models that are needed for RUL estimation, 2) Design the adaptive predictive battery RUL estimation algorithm that can adjust battery parameters with real-time measurement feedback, and 3) Implement and demonstrate the Smart Battery Gauge technology prototype in software and benchmark its performance with existing approaches.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

EARS: Intelligent and Cross-Layer Attack and Defense in Spectrum Sharing

Huaiyu Dai, Peng Ning
01/01/15 - 12/31/17

Cognitive radio (CR) is emerging as a key enabling technology to address the ever increasing

demands on the scarce spectrum for wireless communications. While wireless networks are prone to security attacks,

CR networks are even more vulnerable due to improved intelligence available at attackers or compromised devices, and additional

constraints imposed on CR users. This interdisciplinary proposal aims at making contributions in the general area of security of wireless signals and systems in the context of spectrum sharing, to facilitate the realization of the national spectrum objectives in the years to come. In this project, instead of adding contributions to existing literature on software and wireless network security, we will focus on the vulnerabilities and attacks unique to CR functionalities, and advocate a cross-layer viewpoint for both attacks and defenses.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Is Wireless Channel Dependable for Security Provisioning?

Huaiyu Dai, Rudra Dutta, Peng Ning
08/15/13 - 07/31/18

Wireless security is receiving increasing attention as wireless

systems become a key component in our daily life as well as critical cyber-physical systems. Recent progress in this area exploits physical layer characteristics to offer enhanced and sometimes the only available security mechanisms. The success of such security mechanisms depends crucially on the correct modeling of underlying wireless propagation. It is widely accepted that wireless channels decorrelate fast over space, and half a wavelength is the key distance metric used in existing wireless physical layer security mechanisms for security assurance. We believe that this channel correlation model is incorrect in general: it leads to wrong hypothesis about the inference capability of a passive adversary and results in false sense of security, which will expose the legitimate systems to severe threats with little awareness. In this project, we seek to understand the fundamental limits in passive inference of wireless channel characteristics, and further advance our knowledge and practice in wireless security.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Understanding and Accelerating Information Spreading in Dynamic Networks. ARO Research Area 10: Network Science - 10.1 Communication and Human Networks

Huaiyu Dai
01/31/17 - 01/30/20

In many existing and emerging large-scale networks, an important application is to spread the information quickly and efficiently over the network. Over the past decade, this topic has received great research interest, and is relatively well studied for static networks. In contrast, our knowledge is far from complete when the network structures change over time, which is typical due to various reasons including environment changes, device and user mobility, variation of social relationship, and growth of the networks. There have been extensive studies on protocol and algorithm development in the area of mobile wireless networks, but many of them resort to simulation and

experimentation with synthetic and real-world mobility traces; a general analytical framework is lacking. In this project, built on our promising preliminary results, we intend to work towards a unified analytical framework for mobile networks that can address various types of mobility patterns and handle both connected and delay-tolerant networks. We also plan to extend our study to mobile social networks, which possess some unique features for information spreading that deserve separate and in-depth considerations. As emerging networks are complex and exhibiting unpredictable dynamics, random-walk based

algorithms become an appealing architectural solution for them. A pertinent question is whether we can further improve the efficiency of these algorithms while maintain their simplicity and robustness. Our preliminary results indicate that, by exploiting some additional information which may readily be available, a speedup by an order of magnitude is potentially achievable. Underlying our efficient algorithms is a design framework based on non-reversible Markov chains. In the second research thrust, we plan to deepen our study on this design framework, and further extend its underlying principle to the study in mobile social networks. The proposed research will be assessed through a comprehensive evaluation plan.

This project is sponsored by US Army - Army Research Office.

Epidermal Biosensor Platform with Variable Recognition Elements

Michael Daniele
09/01/15 - 08/31/17

The objective of this proposal is to continue the fabrication and evaluation of microneedle arrays to extract interstitial fluid. After seed funding in Year 4, we were able to fabricate a first generation of nanocellulose microneedle arrays and demonstrate their capability to absorb fluid. In Year 5, we will expand the development of the microneedle arrays to tune the mechanical and wetting properties. After obtaining microneedle arrays with increased strength and wetting properties, we will then proceed with ex vivo models of ISF extraction from skin to prepare for a pilot human subject experiment.

It is also the objective of this proposal is to continue the development of the patch for epidermal biochemical sensing. The patch, as currently designed, incorporates two bio-recognition elements, glucose oxidase for glucose sensing and lactate oxidase for lactate detection. The patch is constructed on a nanocellulose thin film that conforms to the skin and carries the sensing elements. The biorecognition elements are incorporated into graphene paste electrodes with mediators. Preliminary results have demonstrated the separate detection of glucose and lactate in vitro. The proposed effort aims to further validate the operation of the patch in vitro with the intended goal to be approaching the design of human subject trials towards the close of Year 5. Applied research efforts will further develop the biosensor patch by miniaturization and integration with wearable electronics. Fundamental research will address concerns raised by the NERC Site Visit Team relating to sample acquisition and collection. We will develop the sample handling component of the patch by exploring lateral flow properties of the nanocellulose films.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center.

Multi-Analyte BioMaterials as Implantable Chemical Sensors (Multi-Analyte BioMICS)

Michael Daniele, Alper Yusuf Bozkurt
06/27/16 - 06/26/18

This proposal builds on Profusa’s tissue-integrating sensor that overcomes biofouling and the foreign body response and serves as a platform for the detection of multiple analytes. BioMICS (Advanced BioMaterials as Implantable Chemical Sensors) are comprised of miniaturized, implantable sensors and a disposable external adhesive patch that, together, provide continuous monitoring of soldier health status to improved mission efficiency without compromising mobility or readiness. Long-lasting implantable sensors that provide continuous, multi-analyte data will enable monitoring of metabolic status, ion panels, blood gasses, and other key physiological biomarkers. NC State will be responsible for converting Profusa’s early-stage optical reader to a thin-film wearable reader. Dr. Michael Daniele, professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University, will be responsible for developing the flexible patch reader electronics (i.e. optical coupling to the biomaterial thin film; highly efficient, low power circuit design; optics; and, signal processing) as well the flexible circuits and conformal adherence. The patch reader will utilize flexible, breathable, conformal electronics. The optics package will be designed to include light-sources, photomultipliers and photodiodes to monitor both fluorescence lifetime and intensity.

This project is sponsored by Profusa, Inc. .

Geometric Phase Holograms and Related Films and Devices, Task Order: 2014-2450

Michael James Escuti
05/01/14 - 04/30/20

In this six-year program, the PI and team will broadly investigate Geometric Phase Holograms (GPH), Polarization Gratings (PGs), Multi-Twist Retarders (MTRs), and devices that integrate them.

This project is sponsored by ImagineOptix Corporation.

NeTS: Small: Distributed and Efficient Randomized Algorithms for Large Networks

Do Young Eun
08/01/12 - 07/31/17

Designing efficient and distributed algorithms has been central to almost all large networked systems. Examples include crawling-based sampling of large online social networks, statistical estimation or inference from massive scale of networked data, efficient searching algorithms in unstructured peerto-peer networks, randomized routing and duty-cycling algorithm for better performance-energy tradeoff in wireless sensor networks, and distributed scheduling algorithms leading to maximal

throughput and smaller delay in multihop wireless networks, to list a few. Except for small-sized, static networks for which centralized design is not much of an issue, virtually all large networks necessarily demand distributed algorithms for inherent lack of global information and also randomized algorithms for autonomous load balancing and their resilience/robustness against possible points of failure/attacks, yet often with close-to-optimal performance.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

EARS: Compact Adaptive MIMO Receivers

Brian Allan Floyd, Jacob James Adams, Brian L. Hughes
09/15/13 - 08/31/18

The goal of this project is use information-theoretic principles to design compact broadband multi-

antenna receivers that exhibit the best possible tradeoff between power and bandwidth efficiency.

Our overall approach is to develop antenna structures, matching networks and communication

algorithms that act in concert to maximize the capacity of the underlying wireless channel. Three

main topics are addressed: (a) design of novel, co-located antennas that seek to capture the most

informative modes of the incident electromagnetic field; (b) design of agile, adaptive broadband

antenna matching networks with the ability to optimize performance in the presence of frequency-

selective coupling and noise; (c) information-theoretic criteria to guide the design of antenna arrays

that maximize capacity of the resulting channel, and (d) communication and signal processing

algorithms that sense and adjust the matching networks to changing channel conditions.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

EPIC: Extendable Phased-array Platform ICs

Brian Allan Floyd, David Ricketts
05/09/16 - 01/08/18

NCSU proposes to investigate a platform approach to phased-array design, wherein the system is partitioned into a flexible and reusable “core” transceiver plus interchangeable mm-wave beamforming “extenders” which can ideally be co-integrated using 3D technology. Our approach, entitled Extendable phased-array Platform ICs (EPIC), centers on a flexible fifth-generation cellular (5G) core which will be designed to be reused in any phased-array platform solution operating at 20 to 200 GHz. The goal for the core is to support arrays implemented with any architecture, any technology, and any frequency. EPIC will be demonstrated through the architecting of a 24-44 GHz CMOS flexible transceiver core and then system integration with both existing and newly created prototype SiGe BiCMOS beamformers at 28, 60, and 94 GHz. We will compare EPIC to fully-customized designs to evaluate performance, area, power, and design-time trade-offs of our platform solution to fully custom solutions.

This project is sponsored by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

STTR Phase II: Fully-Integrated Tunable Filters Employing Synthetic Linear Interference Delay

Brian Allan Floyd
04/01/14 - 03/31/18

Circuit and radio front-end architectures leading to a universal channel selection filter and duplexers for the 700-3000 MHz range will be developed. A combination of frequency-translated filter responses and feedforward cancellation techniques will be employed. Circuits will be implemented in advanced CMOS technology.

This project is sponsored by Physical Devices LLC.

W-Band Imaging System Using Repurposed Communication and Radar Chipsets (SBIR Phase II)

Brian Allan Floyd
02/23/17 - 02/22/19

A W-band communication radar chipset designed for vehicular radar will be repurposed to operate as an active imaging system. An end-to-end system design and camera prototype will be designed and fullly characterized in Phase II. Additionally, we will investigate (a) feasibility of a 94-GHz radar chipset for improved resolution, (b) feasibility of code-modulated interferometry using the radar chipset, and (c) feasibility of antenna-in-package approaches.

This project is sponsored by MaXentric Technologies, LLC.

Agile 3D Memory Interfaces

Paul D. Franzon
08/27/15 - 08/26/18

3DIC technologies have created new advanced DRAM structures. NCSU will build a 3D specific memory controller.

This project is sponsored by Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

I/UCRC for Advanced Electronics Through Machine Learning (CAMEL)

Paul D. Franzon, William R. Davis, Brian Allan Floyd
08/01/16 - 07/31/21

Research Experience for Veterans supplement

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Modular, Testable, Tightly Coupled 3D Implementation of a Heterogenous Processor

Paul D. Franzon, William R. Davis, Eric Rotenberg
07/01/11 - 08/31/18

Implement a 3D Intel compatible processor

This project is sponsored by Intel Corporation.

SHF:Small:AC Powered Digital Circuits

Paul D. Franzon
08/01/14 - 07/31/18

The main goal of this project is to reduce the cost of RFID chips by eliminating most of the circuitry needed for managing the recovered power on the chip. This has potential to reduce the chip cost by about one-third. RFID chips are at the core of the tags stores typically attach to clothing and high end items – though they have a lot more uses beside this. The main technique employed in this project is to directly operating the circuits from the recovered wireless power. A new chip design technique has been identified for doing this and will be exploited and further explored in the project. This technique also has potential to increase the range at which the RFID tag can be powered. A successful outcome will open new market opportunities to use RFID.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Trusted Fabrication through 3D Integration

Paul D. Franzon
08/01/15 - 09/15/17

NCSU will investigate new approaches to secure IC fabrication using 3DIC technologies

This project is sponsored by US Navy-Office Of Naval Research.

RFID Based Standalone System for Wildlife Tracking

Rachana Gupta
01/01/17 - 08/21/17

This project is initiated by Army Research Office for Electrical Engineering capstone program. This is going to be executed by a senior year student team in Electrical Engineering Capstone course. The project began in Fall 2015 and will go through Spring 2016 to finish in May 2016.

The focus of this senior design project is to prevent unnecessary interaction between wildlife and humans. Many times when farmers and wildlife meet face to face in Sub­-Saharan Africa there are casualties, whether it be crops or loss of life on either side. A system must be developed to put an end to these preventable disasters. The team will research, prototype and implement on using technologies such as RFID, GPS, and wireless communications to solve this problem. Integrating technologies will allow for users to detect, locate, and warn of a wild animal nearing specific areas. The team will also implement a system that will employ deterrents such as loud noises, vibrations, and smell to drive the animal away from the site. The deliverable for this project is a prototype standalone station to be placed on the perimeter of a village or crop to deter unwanted animals and alert officials of an animal within proximity of the station. The purpose of this is to eliminate the interaction between humans and animals in Sub Saharan African regions because of poaching, loss of life, and damage to crops.

This project is sponsored by Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA).

CAREER: Towards Broadband and UAV-Assisted Heterogeneous Networks for Public Safety Communications

Ismail Guvenc
09/01/16 - 03/31/20

Public safety communication (PSC) can help save lives, property, and national infrastructure in case of incidents such as fires, terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Until recently, such communication has been mostly handled by wireless technologies operating in narrow spectrum bands. However, such technologies fall short of addressing public safety requirements, such as deep situational awareness features that necessitate video streaming capabilities. This research proposes the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) along with cellular technologies within a novel and transformative framework that will serve as the pillar of next generation PSC systems. Reaping the benefits of the proposed architecture requires addressing several technical challenges including: 1) potentially damaged network infrastructure, as in the aftermath of an earthquake, causing severe connectivity problems; 2) dynamically varying interference between aerial and ground base stations as well as user equipment, hindering broadband throughput; 3) seamless connectivity problems, in the form of handover failures, exacerbated by dynamic interference and infrastructure mobility.

For addressing these challenges, the proposed research will lay down an interdisciplinary research agenda that combines broadband wireless networks, UAV communications, software defined radios, reinforcement learning, and stochastic geometry, into an integrated and synergistic framework. The project will introduce several innovations that involve self organizing interference and mobility management techniques to achieve ubiquitous broadband connectivity for PSC networks. A comprehensive hardware/software PSC testbed with powerful UAV and radio equipment will be developed to validate, evaluate, and improve the proposed solutions. The theoretical and experimental outcomes will break new ground in PSC systems by enabling real-time wireless multimedia and deep situational awareness capabilities in mission-critical PSC scenarios. Close industrial collaboration will reinforce the proposed testbed, prototyping, and educational efforts, and allow training of undergraduate/graduate students in industrial labs. Outreach activities to local high-schools will attract underrepresented minorities, particularly Hispanics, into STEM areas and the field of wireless networks.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

CPS: Synergy: Collaborative Research: Towards Secure Networked Cyber-Physical Systems: A Game- Theoretic Framework with Bounded Rationality

Ismail Guvenc
08/15/16 - 07/31/17

Securing critical networked cyber-physical systems (NCPSs) such as the power grid or transportation systems has emerged as a major national and global priority. The networked nature of such systems renders them vulnerable to a range of attacks both in cyber and physical domains as corroborated by recent threats such as the Stuxnet worm. Developing security mechanisms for such NCPSs significantly differs from traditional networked systems due to interdependence between cyber and physical subsystems (with attacks originating from either subsystem), possible cooperation between attackers or defenders, and the presence of human decision makers in the loop. The main goal of this research is to develop the necessary science and engineering tools for designing NCPS security solutions that are applicable to a broad range of application domains.

This project will develop a multidisciplinary framework that weaves together principles from cybersecurity, control theory, networking and criminology. The framework will include novel security mechanisms for NCPSs founded on solid control-theoretic and related notions, analytical tools that allow incorporation of bounded human rationality in NCPS security, and experiments with real-world attack scenarios. A newly built cross-institutional NCPS simulator will be used to evaluate the proposed mechanisms in realistic environments. This research transcends specific cyber-physical systems domains and provides the necessary tools to building secure and trustworthy NCPSs. The broader impacts include a new infrastructure for NCPS research and education, training of students, new courses, and outreach events focused on under-represented student groups.

This project is sponsored by Florida International University.

CRISP Type 2: Collaborative Research Towards Resilient Smart Cities

Ismail Guvenc
08/15/16 - 08/14/19

Realizing the vision of truly smart cities is one of the most pressing technical challenges of the coming decade. The success of this vision requires a synergistic integration of cyber-physical critical infrastructures (CIs) such as smart grids, smart transportation, and wireless communication systems into a unified smart city. Such CIs have significant resource interdependencies as they share energy, computation, wireless spectrum, personnel (users, operators), and economic investments. Such resource sharing increases the proneness of such CIs to cascading failures. For example, the failure of a generator will cause a power outage for residential customers as well as an outage on portions of the wireless CI. This, in turn, can impact the platoons of vehicles connected to this communication CI. Protecting such CIs from failures requires instilling resiliency into the processes which manage their common resources. Resiliency is defined as the CIs' ability to recover from failure by optimally allocating their resources over their nodes and connections. While there has been notable activity recently in improving the resiliency of CIs, these have been primarily motivated by singular and often catastrophic events related to weather, terrorism and other natural disasters. Also, most such efforts have been restricted to a single CI with only one interdependency between a communication and a physical component and do not explicitly account for the presence of humans that interact seamlessly with the CIs. In reality, smart cities require protecting multiple, interdependent CIs each of which is used by millions of users. The goal of this interdisciplinary research is to address this challenge by developing a holistic approach for optimizing the resiliency of a city's interdependent CIs.

This research will lay the foundations of resilient smart cities by introducing a foundational framework for leveraging the CIs' interdependencies to yield resilient resource management schemes cognizant of both technological and human factors. By bringing together researchers in cyber-physical systems, computer and network science, transportation engineering, security, behavioral economics, power systems, wireless networks, and psychology, this framework will yield theoretical and practical advances: 1) Rigorous mathematical techniques for delineating the interdependencies between CIs via a symbiotic mix of novel tools from graph theory, machine learning, and random spatial models; 2) Novel resilient resource management mechanisms that advance notions from powerful frameworks such as cognitive hierarchy theory, dynamic learning, and the Colonel Blotto game to enable optimized management of shared CI resources in face of failures stemming from agents of varying intelligence levels ranging from random events (wear-and-tear, natural disasters) to highly strategic attacks; 3) New behavioral models for characterizing the trust relationships between a smart city's residents and the CIs; 4) Behavioral studies that provides guidelines on: a) how to influence the CIs' users using communication messages conveyed over platforms to be developed and b) how such influence impacts the resiliency of the coupled CIs; and 5) Large-scale smart city simulator that exploits realistic CI data coupled with real-world experiments over four major smart grid, communication, and transportation testbeds, that will bridge the gap between theory and practice.

This project is sponsored by Florida International University.

Investigations On Current And Future 3GPP Channel Models And The Evaluation Of Various Existing MIMO Techniques With These Channel Models

Ismail Guvenc
08/15/16 - 12/16/17

We will focus on investigating the angular domain characteristics of 3GPP channels. We will run simulations on DOCOMO's system level simulator to evaluate the performance of existing MIMO technologies on available 3GPP channel models including but not limited to mmWave bands. Necessary additions and adaptations to the simulator will be also done to accommodate various MIMO techniques and different channel models. Finally our goal of this simulation project is to obtain achievable multiplexing gains. The awardee will communicate with and update the sponsor via bi-weekly conference calls and via email. The project will not involve development of any new intellectual property, and the focus will be on performance evaluation, analysis, and simulation studies of the Spot Cell technology.

The supplement for the revised project involves using WinProp software to conduct ray tracing simulations for mmWave propagation channels in various scenarios.

This project is sponsored by DOCOMO Innovations, Inc..

NeTS: Small: Collaborative Research: Towards Millimeter Wave Communications for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Ismail Guvenc
10/01/16 - 09/30/19

With the proliferation of bandwidth hungry mobile devices, dense deployments of users, and the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, broadband spectrum needs have been continuously increasing in recent years. The use of the millimeter wave (mmWave) frequency bands is seen as a major way to address this spectrum crunch problem since large amounts of licensed and unlicensed bandwidths are available at these frequencies, leading to new standards being developed for 5G cellular and Wi-Fi using mmWave. In parallel, there have been unprecedented recent advances in commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies, which has resulted in their adoption in a wide range of applications, such as disaster relief, agricultural monitoring, wireless connectivity in rural areas, and hotspot connectivity for major sporting events.

The proposed research in this project aims to study the foundations of mmWave communications in UAVs in a systematic manner using notions from wireless networks, communication theory, optimization theory, and software defined radios (SDRs), starting from channel sounding and characterization. A key challenge in any mmWave communication is that beamforming needs to be used in order to overcome the path loss. The use of mmWave on UAVs poses additional challenges and benefits. The challenges are primarily due to limited battery life and weight carrying capability of UAVs and the benefits accrue from the use of: 1) large bandwidth; 2) ability to implement 3D beamforming enabling improved spatial reuse; and 3) harnessing the UAV mobility to perform dynamic UAV clustering and interference management. The goal of this project is to address these fundamental challenges via a unique research collaboration focused on developing the next-generation of analytical and experimental tools for designing, modeling, optimizing, and testing mmWave UAV networks. Specific areas of study will include: (i) novel precoder designs for mmWave UAVs taking into account realistic propagation characteristics derived from channel sounding experiments; (ii) equalizer design for mmWave UAVs that trade-off beamwidth against equalizer structure; (iii) multiple access design for mmWave UAVs: code division and time division multiple access techniques will be revisited for mmWave UAV communications, for serving users that are accessed by the same transmitter beam; and (iv) optimal UAV placement for multi-hop wireless backhaul: investigating the use of UAVs as flying relays.

This project is sponsored by Florida International University.

NeTS:SMALL: Collaborative Research: Multi-Element Illuminication for Mobile Free-Space-Optical Networks

Ismail Guvenc
09/01/16 - 07/31/18

As anyone who has used WiFi in urban environments knows, there is interference between multiple competing users and loss of throughput. Wireless home networks are not just for casual web browsing, but are also being used to stream high-quality video to tablets and other portable devices. Interference between access points degrades the user experience for these applications. One method being proposed to address the increased demand for high-capacity local-area wireless networking is Free-space-optical communication (FSOC). In parallel, solid-state lighting (SSL) devices with multiple light emitting diodes (LEDs) are being deployed and commercialized due to their superior durability and energy efficency. Though stemming from the same core optoelectronics technology, SSL and FSOC have inherent tradeoffs: the illuminated area is larger when the divergence angle of the optoelectronic transmitter is high, whereas the transmission range is longer when it is small. This project envisions multi-element "illuminication" modules that perform joint and adaptive optimization of two conflicting goals: illumination and communication. Such modules and protocols are potentially deployable in many settings such as residential and commercial buildings, airplanes, and other RF-limited environments.

This projects is developing a framework to design, optimize and test illumination-communication technologies considering needs and requirements for both functionalities. To attain mobile illuminication with high spatial reuse and throughput, and uniformly high illuminance; the project designs (i) multi-element illuminication modules which uses spherical structures for spatial reuse and uniform illumination, (ii) adaptive intensity control for energy saving and chromacity control over red-green-blue LEDs, (iii) transceivers with varying field-of-view and divergence angle, (iv) automatic realignment protocols using electronic steering and focusing for mobility, (v) cognitive algorithms for transceiver selection, and (vi) optical wireless localization with high accuracy.

This project is sponsored by Florida International University.

University Leadership Initiative; Hyper-Spectral Communications, Networking & ATM as Foundation for Safe and Efficient Future Flight: Transcending Aviation Operational Limitations with Diverse and Secure Multi-Band, Multi-Mode, and mmWave Wireless Li

Ismail Guvenc
05/01/17 - 04/30/20

This research will address the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s (ARMD’s) Strategic Thrust (ST) #1, Safe, Efficient Growth in Global Operations. The research outcomes fit within the ARMD’s Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) years 2025-2035 and beyond 2035 time frames, and will contribute specifically to the following outcomes: (i) fully integrated terminal, enroute, surface and arrivals/departures operations (ATM+2), and (ii) fully autonomous trajectory services (ATM+3).

As is well known, air travel and air transport are expanding rapidly. Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) use is burgeoning. An obvious consequence of the growth in passenger and freight air traffic, and the coming of UAS into the worldwide airspace, is continuing growth in air traffic density and complexity. Although initially UAS will fly in airspace separate from piloted aircraft, there will inevitably come “mixed airspaces,” and likely full integration of UAS throughout the complete current worldwide airspace (and in the future, beyond, e.g., stratospheric flights). The addition of UAS will compound the already increasing complexity of air traffic management (ATM). The increase in density (aircraft per unit volume) means that safe operation will become more challenging. The situation is more complex for ATM than for terrestrial commercial communications, because of greater aircraft mobility and much more stringent reliability requirements. Since safe operation cannot take place without highly-reliable and efficient communications and networking among aircraft, ground stations, and other entities, we are proposing research to dramatically enhance the capabilities of aviation communication and networking systems. Hence, the research areas of our investigation are aeronautical communications, networking, and ATM, including aspects of navigation and surveillance, for both manned and unmanned aircraft.

This project is sponsored by University of South Carolina.

WBG Gate Oxide Characterization Project

Douglas C Hopkins
12/13/16 - 10/30/17

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is developing the capability to process alternative gate oxide materials for wide bandgap semiconductor power electronics devices. These devices are key to future high-efficiency power converters for both alternative power generation and energy storage. This project will refine metal-oxide-semiconductor capacitance models for oxides on GaN and extending to oxides on SiC. These models will be extended to investigate intrinsic gate capacitance to include extrinsic sources, including other transistor contacts and packaging influences that are present in packaged power semiconductor devices used in energy storage power conversion systems.

This project is sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories.

Development and Demonstration of a 40kW Photovoltaic Synchronous Generator (PVSG), CAPER Enhancement Project

Alex Q. Huang
04/01/17 - 03/31/18

The design and development of a 40 kW hybrid energy storage system (HESS) that works in parallel with commercial PV inverters. The entire system behaves like a PVSG. It makes the PV system behaves like today’s dispatchable generators that can provide both Voltage and Frequency support to the grid.

This project is sponsored by Clemson University.

Distributed Energy Storage Devices (DESD)

Srdjan Miodrag Lukic, Alex Q. Huang, Mo-Yuen Chow
09/01/13 - 08/31/17

The objective of the DESD Subthrust is to develop intelligent, modular, reliable, efficient, high power and energy density plug-and-play DESD to support the FREEDM and traditional grid energy storage applications

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

Power Electronics Conversion System for Railway Applications

Alex Q. Huang
07/01/16 - 09/30/17

This project is to conduct literature review and simulation study of high voltage power conversion system used in railway applications.

This project is sponsored by QingDao Victall Railway Decoration Materials Manufacturing Co., Ltd..

Collaborative Research: Direct-drive Modular Transverse Flux Electric Machine without Using Rare-Earth Permanent Magnet Material

Iqbal Husain, Srdjan Miodrag Lukic
09/01/13 - 12/31/17

The objective of the proposed research is to develop compact, high torque density, energy-efficient, rare-earth-material-free electric machines for alternative energy and transportation applications using the concept of transverse flux (TF) paths. The unconventional ?ring? winding producing the homopolar MMF distribution in the airgap used in TF machines allows the increase of pole numbers without the reduction of ampere-turn per pole. This effective increase in current loading makes these machines highly suitable for high-torque, low-speed direct-drive applications. Design innovations in both machine concept and control algorithms distinguish the proposed permanent magnet (PM)-TF structure from those previously developed. The proposed concept has the potential to dramatically increase the torque and power density of electric machines without using rare-earth magnet materials whose cost has increased dramatically over the past five years due to highly limited availability.

The goals of this research will be achieved through the following steps: (1) Analyse the electromagnetic, structural and thermal behaviour of the proposed concept; (2) establish analysis, design and control optimization principles for PM-TF machines; (3) design and develop motor controller; (4) fabricate 50kW (peak) prototype; (5) test and analyse performance on an electric powertrain dynamometer; and (6) disseminate results through research publications. A Researcher from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has agreed to advise the team and provide technical assistance during the course of this research program. An automotive electric drive manufacturer, US Hybrid, has agreed to provide engineering guidance during the design stage and to help fabricate the prototype.

The research efforts will be supplemented by a comprehensive educational plan built around this proposal. Three lecture/laboratory modules on alternative energy and transportation each to cover five weeks of a 3 credit course will be developed at NC State and University of Akron, and also disseminated to other Universities. Several graduate and undergraduate students will be trained through this project.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

ERC for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems

Iqbal Husain, Joseph F DeCarolis, Aranya Chakrabortty, Anderson R de Queiroz, Penny Shumaker Jeffrey, Mo-Yuen Chow, Ewan Gareth David Pritchard, Wenye Wang, Edward A. Baker, Alex Q. Huang, Mark A. Johnson, Srdjan Miodrag Lukic, Mesut E. Baran
09/01/08 - 08/31/19

As a part of the NSF Center to Centre trilateral collaboration with Ireland and Northern Ireland, the FREEDM Systems Center engaged research entities in both jurisdictions to understand the challenges to high levels of distributed renewable energy. As a result of this engagement, a research roadmap between the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre housed at University College Cork and Queens University Belfast (QUB) in Northern Ireland was established.

This research roadmap investigates the cross cutting nature of decentralization and electrification through communications and incentivization by performing a host of modeling and simulation to seek optimal solutions.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

SMC - Dynamic Modeling of FREEDM Layers with Distributed IPM control

Iqbal Husain, Alex Q. Huang, Aranya Chakrabortty, Veena Misra, Mark A. Johnson, Douglas C Hopkins, B. Jayant Baliga
09/01/09 - 08/31/17

The objective is to develop a comprehensive FREEDM system level model for system performance analysis, and controller design and evaluation to address one of the most critical concerns of the NSF SVT. A distributed or autonomous robust Intelligent Power Management (IPM) Control development is a key component of the controls initiative in Year 7.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

Function Accelerated nanoMaterial Engineering (FAME)

Ki Wook Kim
01/15/13 - 12/31/17

As a part of the UCLA led team, we will investigate two emerging physical systems/mechanisms capable of highly functional information processing beyond the current state of the art. The first task explores electronic properties of van der Waals materials and their heterostructures. Of primary interest is a system utilizing atomically thin tunnel structures and engineered density-of-states mismatch for ultra-high-speed operation in the terahertz frequencies and strong nonlinearity. The second exploits the possibility of inducing and controlling strongly correlated interactions between electronic and magnetic systems. Specifically, a layered structure consisting of non-metallic magnetic materials and low-dimensional semiconductors with large surface area, such as the van der Waals crystals, is the focus of investigation. The key concept utilizes the correlation between two materials through interactions at the interface, enabling modulation of one property through the other. Detailed theoretical analyses coupled with numerical modeling will be conducted to demonstrate the underlying physical concepts. Relevant metrics will be estimated to gauge the performance in realistic applications.

This project is sponsored by University of California - Los Angeles.

Magnetoelectrics and Spinorbitronics in Topological Heterostructures and Superlattices

Ki Wook Kim
08/09/16 - 08/08/19

As part of the UCLA led team, we propose to explore the nontrivial spin textures and dynamics in strongly spin-orbit coupled materials and their heterostructures, particularly with topological insulators (TIs) and emergent two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). The specific research objectives include: (1) spin textures, spin-orbit torque, and THz spin-dynamics in the TIs and the related material combinations, and (2) strong spin-orbit coupling and the resulting spin-valley textures in the TMD based structures. In the first task, novel spin correlated phenomena and innovative applications will be examined primarily in the TI/magnet systems to take advantage of the spin-momentum entwinement in the TIs and the strong exchange interaction with the neighboring magnetic materials. The focus will be on the microscopic modeling of antiferromagnet dynamics, spin wave generation in the THz, and the domain wall motion (including the skyrmions) through electrical control of spin-orbit torque. In the study of the TMD based structures, the unique properties of this system enabled by the spin-valley interlock will be examined from three different aspects to broadly exploit the possibilities they offer; i.e., magneto-optic effect including coherent THz radiation, electrical control of spin-valley polarization, and spin/charge density wave generation. The physical phenomena as well as their applications originating from the nonlinear dynamics and textures will be examined theoretically based on multiscale treatments including the micro-magnetic simulations and first principles calculations. The latter, ab initio method based on the density functional theory formalism will be needed to accurately characterize emergent material properties under such conditions as doping, strain, or chemical functionalization. The analytical effort will be pursued in strong collaboration with the concurrent experimental investigation.

This project is sponsored by University of California - Los Angeles.

South West Academy of Nanoelectronics (SWAN) 2.0: Charge/Spin Transport and Thermal Management in 2D Crystal Nanostructure Devices

Ki Wook Kim
04/01/13 - 12/31/17

As a member of SWAN (South West Academy of Nanoelectronics) 2.0 led by the Univ. of Texas at Austin, we propose to pursue two tasks in the development of next-generation low-power devices based on emerging 2D material systems including the topological insulators. In the first task, we will theoretically analyze carrier-phonon interaction dynamics and transport of excess heat/phonons in 2D materials and devices. In particular, a first-principles formalism based on density functional theory will be used to establish the intrinsic electron-phonon scattering rates in such candidate materials as transition metal dichalcogenides, silicene, germanene, and bismuth selenide, elucidating the extent of energy exchange in the surface states. At the same time, heat transfer across the layered 2D crystal heterostructures will be examined by using an atomistic thermal/phonon transport model. The second task will entail design and modeling of low-power high-functional logic devices that utilize the spin-momentum interlocked nature of carrier transport in the TI surface states. Particularly, the magnetoelectric effects caused by the neighboring magnetic layers will be the focus of investigation as the key device-enable feature in the topological insulator/magnet structures. Specific device concepts under consideration include magnetoelectric FETs and quasi-optic switches.

This project is sponsored by University of Texas - Austin.

Topological Insulator Hybrid Structures for Novel Optoelectronic Applications

Ki Wook Kim, Jagdish Narayan
08/15/13 - 07/31/17

The objective of this program is to exploit unique advantages of topological insulator based structures for optoelectronic applications. Specifically, the strong magnetoelectric interaction at the topological insulator-magnetic material interface and subsequent band engineering is the key focus as they can facilitate tailored response to an optical signal, offering an ideal environment for previously unattainable performances such as extreme sensitivity detection. The combined theoretical and experimental effort aims to achieve synthesis, fabrication, and analysis of novel topological insulator materials and layered heterostructures as well as demonstration of superior device functionalities.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

A Computational Vision Approach to Insect Activity Analysis (previous title: A Computational Vision Approach to Insect Activity Analysis Hamid Krim and Itta Bluhn-Chertudi)

Hamid Krim
07/01/14 - 09/30/17

Insect vector-borne diseases affect more than one billion people worldwide. Vector control is one of the most effective means of preventing transmission of these diseases. No new classes of vector control have been developed in decades. Emergence of insecticide resistance to most chemical classes has been observed in diverse pest species and this has become a very serious concern worldwide. Thus, the development of insecticides with novel modes of action (MOA) is of utmost importance in controlling vector borne diseases. A key component for identifying new MOA is the ability to reliably test large collections of compounds for the desired effects again insects and/or destructive behaviors. At the moment in the research and development of insecticides, the rate limiting step to the discovery of new MOA against insects is the efficacy of biological assays and not the chemistry lead optimization process. We propose to build a high throughput screening platform to assess a large number of compounds for toxic, repellent and behavior altering effects that are not evaluated in current standard high throughput biological screening systems. Despite technological advances, no highly efficient insect population tracking system is available on the market that allows capture of their activity in order to characterize many of the chemical effects. We propose to design a platform which will enable us to efficiently and rapidly explore compound collections to unveil their full pest-management potential without the need to pre-filter compounds using other assays.

This project is sponsored by NC Biotechnology Center.

Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities

Robin P. Gardner, John Mattingly, Yousry Y. Azmy, Hamid Krim, Nagiza F. Samatova, Alyson Gabbard Wilson, Ralph C. Smith, William A. Boettcher, Robert John Reardon
07/31/14 - 07/30/19

NC State University, in partnership with University of Michigan, Purdue University, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Kansas State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, NC A&T State University, Los Alamos National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, and Pacific Northwest National lab, proposes to establish a Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC). The vision of CNEC is to be a pre-eminent research and education hub dedicated to the development of enabling technologies and technical talent for meeting the grand challenges of nuclear nonproliferation in the next decade. CNEC research activities are divided into four thrust areas: 1) Signatures and Observables (S&O); 2) Simulation, Analysis, and Modeling (SAM); 3) Multi-source Data Fusion and Analytic Techniques (DFAT); and 4) Replacements for Potentially Dangerous Industrial and Medical Radiological Sources (RDRS). The goals are: 1) Identify and directly exploit signatures and observables (S&O) associated with special nuclear material (SNM) production, storage, and movement; 2) Develop simulation, analysis, and modeling (SAM) methods to identify and characterize SNM and facilities processing SNM; 3) Apply multi-source data fusion and analytic techniques to detect nuclear proliferation activities; and 4) Develop viable replacements for potentially dangerous existing industrial and medical radiological sources. In addition to research and development activities, CNEC will implement educational activities with the goal to develop a pool of future nuclear non-proliferation and other nuclear security professionals and researchers.

This project is sponsored by National Nuclear Security Administration.

Fusion and Modeling Algorithums (FUMA)

Hamid Krim
03/23/15 - 05/31/19

This work addresses a problem of space debris detection, and target parameters estimation from both optical and radar data. It aims at:

- A network-based experimental design to make measurement of existing debris

- Exploiting two or more sensing modalities, and fusing information of at least Optical and Radar measurements potentially made at geographically distinct locations, and enhancing the data for analysis

- Developing a Bayesian inference framework to overcome the diversity of tracks and targets

- The optical data will be captured by a 60 cm telescope which is at disposal to CTU Prague team. The radar measurements will be obtained from a Czech amateur radio astronomy network. The optical and radar measurement will be synchronized, i.e. the same orbiting object will be seen simultaneously in both sensor modalities.

This project is sponsored by US Missile Defense Agency.

Interdisciplinary Distinguished Seminar Series

Hamid Krim
08/19/14 - 08/18/17

This project is sponsored by US Army - Army Research Office.

LAS DO 7 Hamid Krim - Interdisciplinary Speaker Series (IDSS)

Hamid Krim
01/01/17 - 12/31/17

DO7 - Interdisciplinary Speaker Series (IDSS)

This project is sponsored by Laboratory for Analytic Sciences.

Research Area 5: Computing Science: Machine Learning: Pursuit of Union of Subspaces and Beyond

Hamid Krim
11/09/15 - 11/08/18

The topic of Union of Subspaces has recently emerged as a promising alternative to PCA and Robust PCA.

In addition to one’s ability to retrieve a noise-free component satisfying such a model as we have recently shown, we propose to approach the problem as a subspace pursuit problem, much akin to basis pursuit, using the formalism of a Grassman Manifold. We also propose to investigate more challenging spaces where singularities appear and the underlying spaces are not necessarily flat. This so-called stratified space promises to provide additional flexibility to capture sudden changes of scenes in imagery data for instance.

This project is sponsored by US Army - Army Research Office.

A New Detector for Measuring Polarized Light: Modeling, Characterization and Testing for Significantly Improved Imaging Capabilities (Intrinsic Coincident Polymer Semiconductor Based Polarimeter)

Michael Kudenov, Brendan Timothy O'Connor
07/15/14 - 06/30/18

One undergraduate student in summer 2016 will work in close collaboration with the PI and the graduate research assistants currently working on the experimental portion of this NSF funded project. Additionally, the student will participate in the weekly research group meetings where they will be expected to present research results and will present their summer research results as a poster at the NC State Undergraduate Research Symposium in fall 2016.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Development and Field Validation of New Sensor Technology for Characterizing Maize Yield Components

Gary A. Payne, Michael Kudenov, Mohamed Youssef, Gail G. Wilkerson, Jeffrey G. White, Ronnie W. Heiniger
07/15/15 - 12/31/17

Improving plant genetics has demonstrated to be one of the greatest ways to increase agricultural production. Accurate, robust, and reliable phenotyping and quantification of crop yield components are critical for identifying yield traits, understanding their response to environmental conditions, incorporating these traits into adapted genotypes, and developing in-season management decisions. In addition, longitudinal phenotyping provides data needed to develop the next generation of crop growth models and crop management decision aids. We propose research to apply new and existing sensor technologies to plant phenotyping and to validate these technologies on a highly monitored field site. One ultimate goal is to generate a unique remote sensing-based crop phenotyping database as an initial step toward developing a “spectral library” of crop/canopy characteristics to facilitate rapid phenotyping. The specific objectives are: 1) Collect detailed plant phenotypic information on two maize genotypes grown under two different nutrient management strategies on a highly monitored, intensively managed field site; 2) Use spectral and non-spectral remote sensing to collect information on canopy reflectance, structure, and temperature throughout the growing season; 3) Develop new sensor-based phenotyping technologies based on identification of sensor measurements that can be related to genotypic yield responses; 4) Generate a unique dataset combining sensor, yield, and management information with extensive season-long monitoring of soil, meteorology, and plant growth and nutrient status; and 5) Use these data to calibrate and test an existing crop growth model and a hybrid crop growth-soil drainage-nitrogen dynamics model.

This project is sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC.

Evaluating Irrigation Strategies for Water-Efficient Corn Production in Eastern North Carolina

Mohamed Youssef, Gail G. Wilkerson, Ronnie W. Heiniger, Jeffrey G. White, Michael Kudenov, Gary A. Payne
02/01/17 - 01/31/19

We will demonstrate, evaluate, and further develop irrigation water management strategies for corn production in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. The aim of these irrigation strategies is to increase the resiliency of corn production in North Carolina to the variability in precipitation during the crop growing season. These strategies are designed to increase crop yields and profits, while conserving water and energy. Specific objectives are to:

1. Evaluate two irrigation regimes: 1) irrigation applied to meet crop evapotranspiration needs throughout the growing season (no difficit water stress); 2) irrigation applied to meet evapotranspiration needs only during growth stages that are most sensitive to deficit soil water conditions. These two irrigation regimes will be compared to a baseline non-irrigated treatment.

2. Evaluate a “smart” irrigation technology to apply irrigation water based on soil water conditions in the root zone, near term precipitation forecast, and crop growth stage. The smart irrigation treatment will be compared to a time-based irrigated treatment and a non-irrigated treatment.

3. Investigate the effects of different irrigation management strategies on crop physiology and yield.

4. Calibrate, validate, and then apply predictive models to evaluate the effect of different irrigation strategies on crop yield for soils and weather conditions common to eastern North Carolina.

5. Conduct two on-site visits for producers and other stakeholders to discuss results of the study.

6. Implement hourly hyperspectral imaging at two critical times during the corn’s maturation and/or at critical irrigation events. These will be used to study the potential for hyperspectral imagery to aid management strategies.

7. Compile the findings of the study into an irrigation management guide.

This project is sponsored by Corn Growers Association of NC, Inc..

In Situ, Real-Time Monitoring of the Properties of Engine Part Coatings

Michael Kudenov
01/04/14 - 08/21/17

Thermal barrier coatings are used in all commercial and military jet engines to provide a buffer between the hot gasses in the engine and the metal framework. Currently, depositing reliable coatings relies on feedback that is assessed using destructive and inferred methods. However, a non-contact non-destructive method to measure a coating will vastly increase the coating's reliability. Therefore, an in-situ real time monitoring technique will provide direct feedback to ceramic coating processes, and will ultimately allow jet engines to perform more efficiently. The work proposed in this project is for the development of a non-contact optical sensor to measure thickness of thermal barrier coating deposition processes.

This project is sponsored by Control Vision, Inc..

Multidisciplinary Graduate Training in Advanced Technologies for High Yield Sustainable Agriculture

Garry Grabow, Colleen J. Doherty, Ronnie W. Heiniger, Joshua Heitman, Shuijin Hu, Michael Kudenov, Terri Long, Alison Anne Motsinger-Reif, Wei Shi, Jeffrey G. White, Mohamed Youssef, Lisa A. Guion, Gail G. Wilkerson, Gary A. Payne
06/15/16 - 06/14/19

Agriculture is the primary economic activity undergirding human survival and quality of life and global economic development. To grow agricultural productivity we will establish an interdisciplinary graduate training program to address Plant Production within the Targeted Expertise Shortage Area (TESA) of Food Production. The goals of this program are: 1) comprehensively train three PhD fellows, each in a core discipline within plant production with cross-training in complementary areas; 2) provide experiential training within a technology rich, multidisciplinary research and Extension platform; and 3) graduate students proficient at integrating computational, environmental, biological and physical data into decision tools for increased yield and economic sustainability. This will be achieved through: recruitment of top tier, diverse Fellows; intensive advising and mentoring by exemplary faculty; outstanding academic, international, and industry-based research opportunities; leadership and professional development training, and internships with local Agbiotech companies. Fellows’ research will be grounded in the innovative research platform (AMPLIFY), a strategic industry-academia- producer partnership conducting interdisciplinary multi-scale systems research to advance high- yield sustainable agriculture to meet our world’s growing food requirements. Success will be measured by: 1) diversity of recruits; 2) presentations at professional conferences and publication in refereed journals; 3) timely degree completion; and 4) successful placements in industry, academia, or government appropriate to TESA. This NNF is relevant to the USDA/NIFA Challenge Area, Plant Production. Measurable impacts on TESAs include a more diverse scientific workforce trained in skills necessary to address complex challenges facing agriculture.

This project is sponsored by US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) - National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Passive Snapshot Remote Imaging of Object Velocity

Michael Kudenov, Michael James Escuti
09/15/14 - 09/14/17

This proposal's central hypothesis is that naturally occurring narrow-band solar absorption features can be used to accurately and passively gauge the velocity, of hard-bodied exoatmospheric and terrestrial objects, with a single frame of data. A principle approach to testing this hypothesis will be to leverage novel heterodyning optical imaging techniques. To this end, the objectives of this proposal are to (1) identify optimal passive signatures to exploit for velocity sensing; (2) create optical and radiometric models for a new sensing architecture; (3) using the models, create an optical and mechanical design and investigate the design's tradespace; (4) fabricate a proof of concept; and (5) leverage the hardware to validate the hypothesis and modeling efforts. Impact is expected on multiple areas of the Air Force's goals, including covert estimation of an object's trajectory. Additional benefits can be realized in other areas as well, including classifying threats by velocity class and remote sensing of daytime fluorescence for chemical identification.

This project is sponsored by US Air Force - Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

Snapshot Imaging laser Displacement Sensor for Hypervelocity Diagnostic Testing

Michael Kudenov
09/14/16 - 09/10/18

Reentry and hypersonic low- and mid-altitude vehicles are subjected to significant aerothermal heating as kinetic energy is dissipated into the atmosphere. Designing a vehicle to withstand aerothermal heating and other associated aerodynamic loads poses a significant engineering challenge in materials research. In the development of materials- and physics-based models, significant testing is conducted in hypersonic wind tunnels. Deformations in a surface or material can be related to internal stresses; thus, measuring such deformations, in situ, within the hypersonic environment must be achieved without distrubing the hypersonic characteristics of the flow. This project will develop high speed optical metrology equipment, optimized for use in hypersonic wind tunnel testing.

This project is sponsored by Control Vision, Inc..

Snapshot Retinal Imaging Mueller Matrix Polarimeter

Michael Kudenov, Michael James Escuti
08/01/14 - 07/31/17

While spectral imaging can often detect chemicals in a scene, polarimetry can sense structural effects. Thus, polarimeters have proven effective in the imaging of retinal tissues, and are able to sense tissue degradation due to early onset of ocular diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. However, current system architectures are limited by low temporal resolution and high cost. To address these concerns, this proposal focuses on the research and development of a new type of rapid snapshot imaging polarimeter that, for the first time, will be capable of real-time Mueller matrix imaging. The polarimeter will be developed for attachment onto a fundus camera to observe the efficacy of real-time full Mueller matrix measurements.

This project is sponsored by National Institutes of Health (NIH).

CAREER: Data Representation and Modeling for Unleashing the Potential of Multi-Modal Wearable Sensing Systems

Edgar J Lobaton
04/01/16 - 03/31/21

The objective of this proposal is to develop a computational framework that integrates statistical and computational geometric data analysis techniques for the processing, analysis and representation of patterns in order to unleash the potential of physiological and environmental multi-modal wearable sensing health systems for continuous monitoring and tracking of human wellness and physiological state. To accomplish this objective, this proposal will: (1) develop algorithms for the concurrent modeling of physiological, kinematics and environmental states for inference purposes; (2) develop techniques to transform models between different sensing systems in order to make information sharing compatible across platforms; and (3) develop techniques to maximize the impact on the behavior of individuals by elaborating on schemes for data representation. These techniques will empower users and medical practitioners to understanding, analyze, and make decisions based on patterns present in the data.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Collaborative Research: A Visual System for Autonomous Foraminifera Identification

Edgar J Lobaton
08/01/16 - 07/31/18

Paleoceanography, among other research fields, depends crucially on ubiquitous ocean dwelling single celled organisms called foraminifera. Undergraduate workers are often employed to pick several thousands of specimens from ocean sediments for each study. Depending on deposition rates and abundance of the species, such manual processing can become tediously repetitive with little intellectual motivation for the undergraduate workers, and time and cost-prohibitive for research scientists. The proposed project aims to develop a completely autonomous system for visual identification of foraminifera. This system will be compatible with existing off-the-shelf microscopes, and will utilize pattern recognition tools that will be made available to the entire scientific community. This project has the potential to enable robotic systems that can perform autonomous picking of foraminifera samples.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Power-Efficient Respiratory Rate Estimation via Minimal Sensing (changed from "Power-Efficient Respiratory Rate Estimation via Inertial and EKG Sensing" in March 2017)

Edgar J Lobaton
09/01/15 - 08/31/17

The objective of this project is to estimate respiratory rate using inertial and EKG signals while minimizing energy consumption of the wearable system. The focus will be on power efficient algorithms that minimize the amount of data sensed, transmitted and locally processed in order to maintain appropriate levels of accuracy. The devices that we will use include the Shimmer platform, EKG textiles shirts (from Dr. Jur’s group), the HET platform (from Dr. Bozkurt’s group), and other off-the-shelf wearable devices (including a respiratory rate sensor and wrist sensor).

For the EKG signal, we will compare wet-electrode to dry textile-electrode systems developed by the Dr. Jur’s group. We will aim to identify and characterize the type of artifacts and noise levels present in the different devices under different basic motions. Human experiments will be designed to change factors such as speed, range of motion, or even intensity of activity in a controlled environment in order build accurate models of the observed dependencies. These models will be used to build adaptive filters for the different devices and use the knowledge of specific artifact present in the data as an input for activity classification. Filtering and artifact identification will fuse information from physiological sensors as well as inertial sensors for more accurate recovery of the EKG signals and estimation of heart rate.

We will also consider individuals performing tasks that mimic activities of daily life (e.g., walking, typing on a desk, preparing some foods, watching some TV). These experiments will be validated against the data collected with our collaborators at UNC. The protocols and tools developed will be useful for quantifying the performance of systems at executing various inference tasks besides respiratory rate estimation. As part of the data collection efforts, we will develop a protocol for semi-autonomous data stream synchronization, and data storage and management using SAS software. This infrastructure will be useful for other data collection efforts as well and will facilitate data sharing across all participants in the center.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center.

Robotic Smart Phone Tester

Edgar J Lobaton
01/01/17 - 12/31/17

This project aims to develop an autonomous robotic system for the testing of Apps for smart phone devices that incorporate touch interface, motion, as well as visual and sound interfacing. This work will involve the hardware development as well as software interface for this system.

This project is sponsored by Fidelity.

Cyber Vulnerability Assessment of Electrical Power Systems using Distributed Synchrophasors, Core project for Center for Advanced Power Engineering Research (CAPER) led by Clemson University with NCSU being one of 3 partner institutions

Ning Lu, Aranya Chakrabortty
07/08/16 - 07/07/17

This project will study the possbile implications of cyber attack on power grids based on PMU and SCADA data.

This project is sponsored by Clemson University.

Cybersees: Type II: Cyber-Enabled Water and Energy Systems Sustainability Utilizing Climate Information

Sankarasubraman Arumugam, Ning Lu, Joseph F DeCarolis, Gnanamanikam Mahinthakumar, Tushar Sinha, Sreerama Sreepathi
09/01/14 - 08/31/18

Continually increasing water demand (due to population growth) and fuel costs threaten the reliability of water and energy systems and also increase operational costs. In addition, both natural climatic variability and the impacts of global climate change increase the vulnerability of these two systems. For instance, reservoir systems depend on precipitation; whereas power systems demand depend on mean daily temperature. Currently, these systems use seasonal averages for their short-term (0-3 months) management, which ignores uncertainty in the climate, thereby resulting in increased spillage and reduced hydropower. While seasonal climate forecasts contain appreciable levels of skill over parts of the US in both winter and summer, the uptake of these forecasts for water and energy systems management has been limited due to lack of a coherent approach to assimilate probabilistic forecasts into management models. We systematically analyze various scenarios that aim at improving the performance of these systems utilizing the multimodel climate forecasts and a high performance computing (HPC) framework.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Distribution Planning Criteria and Tools for Future Distributed Energy Resource Penetration Scenarios using Probabilistic Approaches, Core project for Center for Advanced Power Engineering Research (CAPER) led by Clemson University with NCSU being on

David Lee Lubkeman, Ning Lu
01/01/15 - 08/15/17

In this project, the team is developing distribution system planning criteria and associated tools for utility engineers for accommodating future integration of distributed energy resources (primarily distributed solar). These tools provide the utility the capability of modeling the impact of uncertain future DER penetration scenarios, quantifying the impacts of DER options and penetrations on distribution expansion and upgrade schemes.

This project is sponsored by Clemson University.

Enabling High Penetration of Distributed PV through the Optimization of Sub-transmission Voltage Regulation

Ning Lu, Alex Q. Huang
05/18/16 - 02/28/19

This project will develop a coordinative, real-time adjustable sub-transmission voltage regulation mechanism to promote high penetration of distributed solar generation resources without adversely impacting desirable voltage regulation at the sub-transmission level. Traditionally, voltage regulation devices (capacitor banks, reactors, static Var compensators) are deployed and operated to cope with mainly system load changes. The location, capacity, and operation schedules of those devices are not designed and coordinated for managing the real-time voltage variations caused by variable distributed solar generation resources such as MW- and kW-level photovoltaics (PVs). As a result, insufficient voltage regulations are causing potential overvoltage problems, especially in light load seasons such as spring and fall. The difficulties of maintaining system voltage stability and power quality are roadblocks for PV integration. The success of the project will break those technical barriers in distributed PV integration, reduce the grid integration costs of solar energy and accelerate large-scale deployment of distributed solar generation.

This project is sponsored by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Green Energy Hub - DGI-IEM Demonstration Industry, FREEDM Core Project

David Lee Lubkeman, Ning Lu, Alex Q. Huang, Mesut E. Baran, Wenye Wang, Iqbal Husain, Subhashish Bhattacharya
08/15/10 - 06/30/18

The Green Energy Hub testbed is an integrated hardware system demonstration incorporating technologies from the Enabling Technology and Fundamental Science research planes.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM).

Customer-Oriented Planning Strategies for Active Distribution Systems: CAPER Core project.

David Lee Lubkeman, Ning Lu
01/18/17 - 12/17/18

This project aims to develop customer-oriented planning strategies for planning active distribution systems. The trend in distribution system technology development shows that more and more distributed energy resources (DER) with different ownership will be deployed in the next ten years, making the traditionally passive system active.

This project will first develop new load forecast methods with a focus on the forecasting of the penetration of customer-owned DERs based on location, economic incomes, and technology adoption rates. Then, we will study the energy management strategies under different rate and award programs. Specifically, we will address the uncertainties brought by human behaviors as well as the intermittent generation resources (primarily PVs). Stochastic optimization methods will be developed to replace the deterministic approach the planning engineers are currently using to drive the planning towards customer-oriented planning practice so that investment and expansion plans can be made considering more diversified future scenarios. Probabilistic-based Indices such as harmonics, voltage stability, and system reliability can be derived to let the utility engineers know the trade-off between investment and possibility of violation of those indices. Data of DER penetration collected in Duke Energy systems will be used to develop, test and validate the developed methodologies.

This project is sponsored by Clemson University.

Collaborative Research: Modular Multilevel Converter with Parallel Connectivity -- Novel Topology, Control, and Applications

Srdjan Miodrag Lukic
06/01/16 - 05/31/19

The Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) has become established in high voltage and power applications due to its ability to split the system voltage into lower module voltages, its high efficiency, and its unmatched output power quality. Despite these advantages, however, the MMC has not made significant inroads in low and medium power applications. The key reasons are the complex monitoring required to ensure module balancing and the inefficient utilization of modules at voltages below the system maximum. Both of these disadvantages stem from the limitation that MMC modules can only be connected in series or bypassed. Addressing this limitation, we have recently proposed and demonstrated a new family of converters that extend the MMC to provide parallel connectivity of modules. Compared to the MMC, the novel modular multilevel series parallel converter (MMSPC) increases efficiency for the same total silicon and allows charge transfer between modules, akin to switched-capacitor topologies, thus drastically simplifying module balancing. This added functionality could open an entirely new space of low, medium, and high voltage applications of multilevel converters.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

CPS: Synergy: Collaborative Research: Diagnostics and Prognostics Using Temporal Causal Models for Cyber Physical Systems- A Case of Smart Electric Grid

Srdjan Miodrag Lukic
10/01/13 - 09/30/17

Resilience to failures is an important requirement for cyber-physical systems such as Smart Grids that are an integral part of our infrastructure. They consist of tightly conjoined networks of physical components (including generation, transmission, and distribution facilities) interfaced with cyber components (including sensors, communication lines, computational software). Efficient models and online tools for understanding failure propagation and fault source isolation are necessary for building systems that are resilient to failures. Dynamic conditions resulting from varying physical system state such as power consumption, changing operational requirements, physical component degradation, software failures pose great challenges in achieving the desired reliability. We propose to develop (a) new methodology to build fault models for complex cyber-physical systems such as smart grid, (b) develop an integrated system-wide solution for isolating faults and identifying future failure propagation that takes into account the existing protection mechanisms designed into the system. This work will be performed in the context of transmission and active distribution systems of smart grid. However, we believe that this work can be extended to other cyber physical systems as well.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Resilient Information Architecture Platform for the Smart Grid (RIAPS)

Srdjan Miodrag Lukic
04/04/16 - 04/03/19

The goal of the Resilient Information Architecture Platform for the Smart Grid (RIAPS) project is to design, prototype, document, and evaluate via concrete applications a software platform for use in various networked computing nodes attached to the Smart Grid.

The Smart Grid will run on software that depends on a software platform. Just as a revolution in Smartphones was started by Android that enabled all sorts of software ‘apps’ to run on a wide variety of devices, our vision is that the same principle applies to the development of the Smart Grid, and the design, specification and prototyping of such an open software platform is essential for the growth and proliferation of the system.

This project is sponsored by Vanderbilt University.

A Path Towards III-Nitrides-Based Superjunction Devices

Zlatko Sitar, Leda Lunardi
08/01/16 - 07/31/19

The proposed research will extend the applicability of wide bandgap semiconductors beyond the traditional limits imposed by the unipolar (Baliga’s) figure of merit by demonstrating a path to superjunction structures based on novel doping and defect control processes. This will lead to a new generation of devices that take advantage of the expected capabilities of III-nitrides but are not limited by doping or implantation technology. Superjunction device structures based on AlGaN are proposed where they exploit the doping selectivity observed in different III-nitride polar domains and the lateral polar patterning technology developed at the WideBandgaps Laboratory at NCSU. In addition, further control of point defects will be realized through the use of Fermi level control schemes based on engineered illumination by the use of UV (blue) lasers surface selective during the growth of the device structure. Such structures will eventually allow for significant breakdown voltages exceeding 5 kV and significant low on-resistance, beyond the expected rated BFOM. This research will provide for a transformative and disruptive technology for power electronics and also provide a breakthrough technology for other applications such as efficient deep UV emitters for water purification. The successful demonstration of such disruptive technology would revolutionize energy switching and transmission, energy storage, and related applications in electrical motor drives and other power intensive applications within the US. As such, the White House has recognized the need to build America’s leadership in this technology as part of the manufacturing innovation institutes. In general, this research will directly lead to materials that will be used for applications that deal with the preservation and extension of natural resources by: (1) allowing for the efficient 
use and transmission of electrical energy, (2) availability of clean potable water through 
disinfection by the use of UV, and (3) the detection of pollutants and other effluents. This 
program will provide the opportunity to educate a Ph.D. student with support from an undergraduate student on the growth and characterization of wide bandgap materials while participating with the group’s international collaborators network.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Promoting Academic and Career Success for Raleigh Future Scholars at NC State

Leda Lunardi, Montserrat Fuentes, Cheryl Parzel Cass, Tony L. Mitchell
09/01/13 - 08/31/18

We seek 76 scholarships over four years to establish a successful program in engineering disciplines for low income undergraduate students at NC State University. This project also includes students majoring in statistics. We will create a pathway through Raleigh Promise for the academically talented and economically disadvantageous student population with a Raleigh permanent address, increasing their opportunities for STEM careers. We have identified several activities in which scholars will have participation priority, including mentoring, career readiness, and educational incentives that have proven to be very successful in academic success. We are proposing to make all need-based scholarship awards the same annual amount of $5500. At the end of this project, we will have effectively increased the rate at which 76 STEM scholars have earned their degree, and built a more diverse and inclusive student population that interacts with and helps recruit new students entering NC State.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

20th Annual AUVSI RoboSub Competition

John F. Muth
11/15/16 - 04/01/18

Our organization competes in the AUVSI RoboSub competition, an international robotics competition sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the US Office of Naval Research. In RoboSub, teams compete to create Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) that can navigate an obstacle course and complete tasks underwater with no human input whatsoever. The tasks are designed to be similar to the real world, such as searching for and retrieving objects on the floor of the pool, manipulating levers and wheels, avoiding obstacles, and locating an acoustic “pinger” (sonar transmitter), much like the ones that are used to locate the “black box” on downed airplanes. Every year, students from roughly 40 teams around the world decide to take this challenge upon themselves, and learn real engineering, problem-solving, and teamwork skills along the way.

This project is sponsored by NCSU NC Space Grant Consortium.

Development of Ga2O3 Based Structures for High Power Applications

John F. Muth, Tania M Paskova
08/01/15 - 07/31/18

The objective of this proposal is to demonstrate the feasibility of producing Ga2O3 based structures for power applications. We intend to explore several growth approaches, aiming to achieve epitaxial structures of high quality. The expected strong potential of this material for producing high power devices will be explored by developing structures with controllable doping.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

GOALI: Thermal Transport in AlGaN Alloys: Effect of Point and Structural Defects

John F. Muth, Tania M Paskova
08/15/13 - 07/31/18

The objective of this proposal is to perform a basic study of thermal conductivity of AlGaN alloys in the entire composition range with variable defect density achieved by using growth on different substrates and to explore the role of point and structural defects on the thermal transport in these materials.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

III-Nitride LED Structures on Sidewall Grown Semipolar Facets

John F. Muth, Tania M Paskova
07/01/12 - 06/30/18

This is an International Collaboration Supplement (ICS) request in conjunction with our NSF project # 1207075 titled "III-Nitride LED structures on sidewall grown semipolar facets", aiming to bring an additional strong scientific component that could leverage the success of the current program. The supplement will also enhance a productive on-going international collaboration with a spectroscopy group from the Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

An Ultrasound-Based Noninvasive Neural Interface to the Retina

Omer Oralkan
08/01/13 - 11/30/17

We propose to develop a conformal miniaturized high-frequency ultrasound transducer array integrated with supporting electronics, to be formed in the shape of a contact lens. This proposal is based on our recent preliminary experimental results showing that the retina responds to focused ultrasound in a similar way to its natural stimulus, light. The proposed device will be designed to project desired ultrasound patterns for direct stimulation of neural circuits in the retina. Such a device has many potential applications including possible enhancement of vision, overlaying patterns on the visual input, or as a prosthetic device to restore vision in blind patients with regenerative retinal disease.

This project is sponsored by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Mechanically Resonant Chemical Sensor Arrays Based on Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers

Omer Oralkan
09/01/13 - 08/31/17

The main objective of the proposed project is to develop a highly sensitive gas sensing system based on a mechanically resonant mass-­‐loading sensor coated with selective functionalization layers. The mechanical resonator of choice is a capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT), which is suitable for array implementation and achieves a high quality factor enabled by a vacuum cavity on the backside of a vibrating plate structure. The array approach is especially important to achieve high selectivity by functionalizing different elements of the array with different polymers. Our primary target analytes are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The presented approach is also applicable to biosensors by employing a suitable mechanical design and specific functionalization layers targeting biomarkers of interest.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center.

Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer Arrays with Embedded MEMS T/R Switches

Omer Oralkan
05/01/16 - 02/28/18

In this pilot project we are proposing to develop capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer arrays with microelectromechanical transmit/receive switches implemented on the same substrate with the transducers. This novel design is intended to ease the burden on the design of frontend electronic circuits used in medical imaging applications.

This project is sponsored by National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Percutaneous cardiac HIFU Ablation with Multimodal Image Guidance

Omer Oralkan
09/01/13 - 06/30/18

This project aims to develop a combined high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and

photoacoustic/ultrasound imaging system that will significantly improve the treatment of relatively common forms of heart disease, atrial fibrillation in particular, a form of arrhythmia affecting 0.4% to 1% of the general population and increasing with age. The described devices and systems will be developed based on the capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer technology, which employs silicon device fabrication techniques to implement ultrasonic transducers and supporting integrated front-end circuits.

This project is sponsored by Stanford University.

Bridging Mathematics Contents to Engineering Contexts; Just-In-Time Assessment and Review Modules

Hatice O. Ozturk, Alina Nicoleta Duca, Henry J. Trussell
09/01/13 - 08/31/17

This project is designed around the new learning-based engineering education paradigm where the students work hard at learning while the mentor listens and guides. ?The guiding? is done on a technology platform according to the needs of the students which are assessed with questions at various levels of difficulty. The instructional design of this technology platform is done by a strong collaboration of mathematicians and engineering educators supported by the instructional software experts. The main goal of the project is to bridge the gap between math education of engineering students and their ability to apply this knowledge and skills in their engineering courses in a way that uniquely meets the needs of the students. Prerequisite math knowledge and skills are introduced as they are needed and in contexts that they will be used with the help of custom created Just-in-Time Assessment and Review modules. Preliminary results show that the proposed approach effectively increases the math preparedness of engineering students and results in improved achievement of course instructional objectives.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Flexible, High Performance Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting (changed from "High Performance Thermoelectrics" in March 2017)

Mehmet C. Ozturk
09/01/12 - 08/31/17

The objective of this project is to develop flexible thermoelectric (TE) energy harvesters using the state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials produced by the Vashaee group. The aim is to develop both bulk and thin-film flexible harvesters that are far superior to previously reported TE modules. The project includes a comprehensive system model for rigid / flexible TE heat harvesting from the body and device demonstration. Our flexible harvesters based on bulk thermoelectric materials explore novel flexible packaging approaches that rely on innovative material solutions that enable stretchable interconnects and low-thermal conductivity elastomers that can serve as filler materials. Our best harvesters to date rely on liquid GaIn stretchable interconnects and PDMS as the stretchable filler material. Our thin-film harvesters will rely on thermoelectric materials produced by pulsed laser deposition. Flexible harvesters will be fabricated relying on wafer-scale integration techniques. The thin-film devices will feature a

significantly larger number of legs with the objective of producing a larger open circuit voltage

potentially eliminating efficiency lost during boost conversion. The flexible harvesters will consider low thermal conductivity aerogels, which can possess thermal conductivities even lower than air.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center.

NNCI: North Carolina Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN)

Jacob Jones, Mehmet C. Ozturk, Ayman I. Hawari, David M. Berube, Elizabeth C. Dickey, John F. Muth
09/15/15 - 08/31/20

The RTNN is a consortium of three North Carolina (NC) institutions and is proposed as a site in the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) network. NC State, Duke, and UNC-Chapel Hill are all located in close geographical proximity within North Carolina’s Research Triangle. The RTNN currently offers fabrication and characterization services and education to a diverse range of users from colleges, universities, industry, non-profits, and individuals. The RTNN will bring specialized technical expertise and facilities to the National NNCI in areas that include wide bandgap semiconductors, soft materials (animal, vegetative, textile, polymer), functional nanomaterials, in situ nanomaterials characterization and environmental impact, nanofluidics, heterogeneous integration, photovoltaics, and positron annihilation spectroscopy. The RTNN strengthens the National NNCI in the areas of social and ethical implications of nanotechnology, environmental impacts of nanotechnology, and education/workforce development through interaction with industry and community colleges in the Research Triangle. All facilities engaged in this consortium have established track records of facilitating industrial research and technology transfer, strengths that further leverage the proposed site within the Research Triangle.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC) for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST)

Veena Misra, John F. Muth, Mehmet C. Ozturk, Jason Michael Strohmaier, Melissa G. Jones
09/01/12 - 08/31/18

Each year, the Industry Liaison Officers from currently funded NSF ERCs gather for a summit to share best practices and hear from experts on industrial partnerships, technology commercialization, and intellectual property management. This year, the summit will be hosted at NC State University, home to FREEDM and ASSIST. ASSIST will be the official host with tremendous support from staff at FREEDM. The Summit Planning Committee is chaired by ILOs from QESST and CBBG.

This proposal is submitted to request a supplement to NSF award EEC-1160483.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF IPA: Program Director for the Electronic and Photonic Materials Program, Division of Materials Research, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the National Science Foundation.

Tania M Paskova
09/08/15 - 09/06/17

The assignee will be responsible for long-range planning and budget development for the areas of science represented by the program; for

managing an effective, timely merit review, award and declination process, and post-award management process; for communicating effectively the promise of the program and in so doing, advising the community of current and future funding opportunities; for coordinating and collaborating with other Programs in NSF, other Federal agencies and organizations; for advising and assisting the Division Director in the development of long­ range plans that ensure the Directorate's investments are targeted to challenges and opportunities in the directorate's research and education fields; for collaboratively overseeing and managing the merit review process for assigned research, education or infrastructure proposals to ensure that investments are made in a diverse, rich mix of bold, cutting-edge projects that promise to advance the frontier and contribute to the attainment of NSF's strategic goals.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Collaboration on Spin-Torque Oscillators and Diodes

David Ricketts
02/01/14 - 03/31/18

This is a Collaboration between NCSU and AIST Japan on Spin-Torque Oscillators and Diodes. The collaboration will consists of sharing joint test results and ideas on the fundamental physics, operation and measurement of spin-torque devices.

This project is sponsored by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

mm/sub-mm Wave Compressive Sensing Imaging

David Ricketts, Dror Zeev Baron
07/01/16 - 06/30/19

This work investigates compressed sensing methods for millimeter and sub-millimeter wave imaging. It will investigate hardware solutions for compressed sensing masks as well as software and computational algorithms.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Multi-watt, Efficient, All-Silicon Power Amplifiers: MESPA

David Ricketts
09/02/13 - 09/03/17

Development of high-power, Power Amplifiers for high-speed communciation.

This project is sponsored by US Army.

SHF: Small: Design for Competitive Automated Layout (DCAL) of Mobile Application Processor

Eric Rotenberg
08/01/12 - 12/31/17

For two decades, personal computers and servers have been powered by increasingly sophisticated superscalar processors. The last few years has even witnessed the introduction of superscalar processors into smart phones and tablet PCs, in order to provide richer user experiences. There are important trends in both domains: server-class processors require unsustainable design effort, as evidenced by a select few, highly trained, large design teams in industry proliferating superscalar processors; mobile devices are evolving at an extraordinary pace. These trends suggest it is time to take a radical departure in the way superscalar processors are designed. In particular, the PI proposes superscalar processor design automation. This project explores challenges and solutions at key levels: (1) automatic FPGA-based processor-in-system exploration, (2) efficient and automatic ISA/microarchitecture decoupling, (3) automatic RTL generation via a superscalar design language, and (4) a low-effort physical design strategy and alternative to custom design.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Streamlining Control-Flow

Eric Rotenberg
01/01/11 - 12/31/17

This project comprehensively addresses the control-flow problem in high-performance processors, to significantly improve their performance and energy efficiency.

This project is sponsored by Intel Corporation.

EAGER: SC2: A Simple, Robust, and Flexible Framework for Collaborative Spectrum Sharing

Mihail L. Sichitiu, Ismail Guvenc
04/01/17 - 03/31/18

Collaborative spectrum sharing is considered a promising technique for increasing spectrum utilization. In an attempt to spur interest in the area, DARPA has organized SC2 - a collaborative spectrum sharing grand challenge. This proposal is requesting support for the participation of team Wolfpack in DARPA's SC2 challenge. The core belief that will guide our approach in DARPA's SC2 challenge is that a minimally simple solution that is optimized for the competition framework will outperform a complicated alternative. Our competition strategy will be to address the five key building blocks of the collaborative intelligent radio using simple but robust techniques building on machine learning principles. The team is composed of mixture of faculty and graduate students, who have extensive, synergistic and complementary technical experience in software defined radios, PHY/MAC and networking algorithms, machine learning, and USRPs.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF IPA: Program Director in the Computer Systems Research Program, Division of Computer and Network Systems, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

Yan Solihin
01/11/16 - 01/10/18

This PINS is regarding my proposed assignment as Program Director at the National Science Foundation, CISE Division, CSR (Computer Systems Research) cluster, tentatively starting on January 11, 2016.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

IRES: U.S.-Czech Research Experience for Students on Wide Bandgap Materials for Energy and Biosensing Applications (IRES: Wide Bandgap Materials for Energy and Biosensing Applications)

Daniel D Stancil, Albena Ivanisevic, Tania M Paskova
08/01/15 - 07/31/18

This program for International Research Experience for Students (IRES), will provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students from NCSU with early career research experience at the Institute of Physics, Academy of Science at Czech Republic (Prague). During focused six-week summer programs, IRES participants will be involved in materials science and will gain hands-on experience with advanced characterization of wide bandgap materials for energy and biosensing applications.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

PowerAmerica: The Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute

Daniel D Stancil, B. Jayant Baliga, Subhashish Bhattacharya, Douglas C Hopkins, Iqbal Husain, Srdjan Miodrag Lukic, Ola L. Harrysson, Mehmet C. Ozturk, Veena Misra, Rogelio A Sullivan, Ewan Gareth David Pritchard, Alex Q. Huang, Dennis H. Kekas, Pam Page Carpenter, John F. Muth
01/15/14 - 01/31/20

The Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute - Power America

This project is sponsored by US Dept. of Energy (DOE).

Scatter Profile RF Transmitting/Receiving Systems: Investigating the phenomenology of the scattering profile

Daniel D Stancil
04/13/17 - 09/30/17

When radio waves are transmitted toward airborne objects or vehicles (or groups of airborne objects or vehicles), some of the energy in the waves is reflected and scattered in other directions. For certain applications in communications, it is desirable to be able to estimate how much energy is scattered in a particular direction from measurements of the energy scattered in other directions. This work is concerned with mathematical simulations to determine under what circumstances, and to what accuracy the energy scattered in an arbitrary direction can be estimated from measurements in other directions.

This project is sponsored by MacAulay-Brown, Inc..

A Digital Camera Based Method for Color Quality Control of the OCP Camouflage Fabrics

Renzo Shamey, Henry J. Trussell
09/23/13 - 07/31/17

The present proposal has the objective to develop, validate and implement an imaging system for the color quality control and assessment of Operation Enduring Freedom (OCP) camouflage substrates.

This work comprises the following main components:

1) Obtaining a statistically valid set of pass and fail responses for a large set of camouflage substrates from a group of expert color assessors that repeat their judgments on multiple trials which will be used to train the system.

2) Developing a numerical algorithm based on an imaging technique that utilizes the above visual criteria to establish instrumental acceptability boundaries.

3) Comparison of the performance of the numerical models used in the imaging techniques against visual judgments for a new set of test samples.

4) Prediction of P/F judgments for a variety of substrates. In order to improve the effectiveness of the proposed technique, different types of material (woven, knitted, nonwoven, & different blends) that are commonly utilized in the production of camouflage material in different sectors, should be made available to be visually rated and to train the system.

This project is sponsored by US Army.

CSR:Small: A Practical Data Dependence Profiler for Program Characterization and Optimization

James Tuck
10/01/13 - 09/30/17

We'll design an infrastructure that leverages a fast and accurate DDP for characterization and optimization.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

EAGER: Exploring Extreme-Scale DNA-based Storage Systems

James Tuck, Albert J. Keung
09/01/16 - 08/31/18

The world’s digital data is growing rapidly and is projected to exceed 16 zettabytes (1021) in 2017. This vast amount of digital data greatly exceeds our ability to store it even when accounting for expected advances in the storage industry. We need extraordinary advances in how we store information in order to catch up.

DNA offers a potentially transformative solution due to its high raw capacity of 1 zettabyte/cm3 (1 exabyte/mm3). To put that in perspective, the best technology available today would require 100,000 cubic meters of volume(10 GB/mm3) to store the equivalent amount of information, more than 10 to the 11th power times less dense. If successful as a storage medium, DNA could hold the world’s entire digital data in a relatively small volume. Also, DNA offers unprecedented reliability. It has a very long life even in relatively harsh conditions compared to electronic media, retaining its structure for hundreds to thousands of years at room temperature.

The overall concept of DNA storage is that extreme amounts of infrequently-accessed information will be stored in DNA, and when needed, subsets of the DNA will be copied to an electronic computer system with more limited but rapid-access storage capacity.

However, DNA is a unique material with very different chemical and physical properties compared to traditional electronic storage media. Thus, the more pertinent question for computer systems experts is determining how to design a high capacity and reliable storage system using DNA given its chemo-physical properties and constraints. This project will investigate some key limitations and design choices for DNA storage systems.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

CAREER: Material Design and Research Oriented Multidisciplinary Education: Amorphous to Nanocrystalline Electronic Materials with Applications to Thermoelectrics

Daryoosh Vashaee
10/01/14 - 07/31/19

Amorphous based materials can possess fundamentally different electrical and thermal properties than crystalline or nanocrystalline forms of the same material. Although, amorphous materials have found applications and continue to show promise for modern technologies, charge carrier and phonon transport in these materials remain a point of dispute. The lack of long- and short-range order in amorphous materials leads to complicated interplay between structure and energy transport. In this project a novel class of electronic materials based on bulk amorphous structures in the form of amorphous-crystalline nanocomposites will be developed and their thermal and electrical properties will be tailored. The application will be focused on thermoelectric materials, but the results are expected to produce new science applicable to other functional materials including optical and magnetic materials. Parallel to the research endeavors, an educational plan will be implemented which incorporates and develops a new teaching initiative in the upper-division undergraduate curriculum, involves undergraduates in research, promotes student international collaborative research, exposes the field of energy materials to the general public, and provides a resource web-site for advanced thermoelectric material studies. The available resources in the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) and Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) programs will be used for expanding the participation of minority students and the recruitment of high school students.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Development of Non-Equilibrium Materials with Extraordinary Electronic Properties

Daryoosh Vashaee, Mehmet C. Ozturk
09/01/15 - 08/31/18

An integrated theoretical and experimental materials research is proposed that focuses on a new technique for developing non-equilibrium material systems based on amorphous structures. This program has three main goals:

Aim 1: Understanding of the Electric Field Induced De-crystallization

The construction of the single transversal mode microwave cavity in our laboratory has provided us with an extraordinary route to create a new state of amorphous materials in a rather quick and convenient way. The decrystallization process happens by merely subjecting the solid material to a strong E or H field in the cavity. This unique capability opens a new landscape for engineering non-equilibrium structures. There is currently no clear understanding on the E (or H) field decrystallization process. We will adopt novel experimental techniques backed with theoretical modeling to elucidate the field induced decrystallization process.

What would be the effect of the E or H frequency, peak power, average power, and the temperature? Is it possible to de-crystallize a material in a preferred crystallographic direction? These are some of the main questions that we will address in this task.

Aim 2: Non-equilibrium Materials Synthesis and Characterization

We aim to develop a novel class of electronic materials based on bulk amorphous structures including amorphous-crystalline composites and control their thermal and electrical properties. The results are expected to produce new science applicable to functional materials including electronic, optical and magnetic material. We will start with microwave processing of semiconductor ingots. The simple procedure and quick processing time of our method allows investigating a large number of material structures as prescribed by theoretical predications during this program. In particular, we will investigate amorphous based structures of several composite silicide alloys and oxide semiconductors. Our goal is to synthesize amorphous and two component amorphous-crystalline composites of these materials and investigate their electronic, thermal, and optical properties.

Aim 3: Theoretical Framework for Non-equilibrium Transport

Amorphous based materials can possess fundamentally different electrical and thermal properties than crystalline or nanocrystalline forms of the same material. Although, amorphous materials have found applications and continue to show promise for modern technologies, charge carrier and phonon transport in these materials remain a point of dispute. The lack of long- and short-range order in amorphous materials leads to complicated interplay between structure and energy transport.

We are especially interested in the regime where the carriers’ energy remains at non-equilibrium state due to the consecutive crossing through interfaces of materials with different equilibrium energy distribution of carriers. We will address the multi-mode transport of charge carriers in extended and localized states in disordered multi component amorphous-crystalline composite structures. This is a new scientific problem with many unresolved scientific questions. In particular, a quantum mechanical approach based on non-equilibrium Coherent Potential Approximation will be developed and applied to design complex systems of multicomponent amorphous based materials. Further understanding of charge carrier and phonon transport in such amorphous based materials will directly impact their material design and offer novel material structures for electronic applications.

This project is sponsored by US Air Force - Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

Rational Design of Thermoelectric Materials and Material Processing Approaches Based on Microwave Processing of Silicides

Daryoosh Vashaee
10/01/14 - 07/31/18

This research plan aims to develop a path to construct thermoelectric devices with greatly improved efficiency, much greater than improvements due to reduction of thermal conductivity exploited in nanotechnological approaches. A novel class of electronic materials will be designed and created based on bulk amorphous structures including amorphous-crystalline composites. The thermoelectric properties will be controlled via a combined theoretical and experimental effort. The PI and Co-PIs will adopt a synthesis method that is scalable for manufacturing; hence, the developed materials based on silicides must be efficient, cost effective, thermally stable, mechanically robust, and appropriate for batch processing. Although the primary focus will be on silicide thermoelectrics, the results are expected to pave the way for creating novel amorphous base electronic, optical and magnetic materials.

The program has two immediate and overlapping educational goals: (1) improve students' capability of interdisciplinary research, and (2) enhance relevance learning for both undergraduate and graduate students. These goals will be addressed through the development of a complementary set of multidisciplinary courses in nanoscience and technology. In particular, the following goals will be emphasized: (1) the capability of synthesizing interdisciplinary contents, (2) collaborative teamwork and learning skills, and (3) “hands-on” laboratory and research experiences.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Thermoelectric Energy Generators Based on High Efficiency Nanocomposite Materials

Daryoosh Vashaee
09/01/14 - 08/31/17

Task 1: The primary focus will be on the development of ten TEGs made from nanocomposite p type

material and COSTS n type material. In particular, the metal contact will be developed and the mechanical properties of the TEG will be improved. In parallel to this effort, we will work on the development of the n type nanocomposites appropriate for body heat energy harvesting. Unfortunately, the n type bismuth telluride alloys have smaller ZT than their p type counterparts mainly due to their low Seebeck coefficient. This is mainly due to lower degeneracy of the conduction band compared with the valence band. Therefore, our focus, in addition to reducing the thermal conductivity by nanostructuring, will be on the techniques for enhancing the Seebeck coefficient such as tuning the composition of the grains, the grain size, the grain alignment, and the grain boundary interface potentials. The grain alignment is especially important due to the strong dependency of the ZT on the crystal orientation in the n type material.

We will initiate a new research direction to develop efficient thin film thermoelectric materials

for wafer scale fabrication of TEG devices in this year. These devices will have smaller form factor and can generate an order of magnitude larger voltage while maintaining same output power compared to bulk TGEs. The idea is to realize a new type of TEG based on a novel quasi-vertical thin film structure. The material will be grown using a dual beam Pulsed Laser Deposition. These thin film materials will be provided to Dr Ozturk for device fabrication. The device will be processed via micro-fabrication steps enabling wafer scale fabrication appropriate for industry scale-up of thin film TEGs. In this device, thousands of TE legs per cm2 will be connected in series (and/or parallel) circuits, which would increase

the output voltage from mV to V while maintaining similar power density as in bulk TEGs.

This project is sponsored by NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center.

LAS DO7 Vinitios - 3.3 Smart Cities

Ioannis Viniotis
01/01/17 - 12/31/17

DO7 Smart Cities

This project is sponsored by Laboratory for Analytic Sciences.

Cascading Failures in Inter-Dependent Networks: Modeling, Vulnerability Analysis, and Epidemic Propagation

Wenye Wang
08/14/15 - 07/13/18

This project aims to develop building blocks towards a theoretical foundation of rapid mitigation of potentially catastrophic disturbances and control of inter-dependent dynamic networks. The nature of the failures and disturbances includes deliberate adversarial cyber-attacks on the infrastructures that are highly inter-dependent, such as tactical ad hoc networks, future power grids, and social networks. Our aim is to ensure large-scale network resilience against cascading failures so as to safeguard physical infrastructures such as the national power grid, transportation grid, and beyond these, the global information grid and defense strategic communication systems. The issues that are deemed fundamental are i) modeling approaches of inter-dependent networks in order to characterize the cascading effects among these networks, such as cascade failure evolution and to identify critical points and correlated events to guard against, ii) vulnerability analysis of cascading failures with respect to network topology, such as network partitions and blackholes, as well as capture the impacts of failures in the spatial-temporal domain, with uantitative and measurable limits and boundary properties; iii) epidemic propagation of failures due to cyber-attacks with and without countermeasure in mobile networks in that the increasing reliance on wireless communications, while offering great benefits of communications in highly dynamic environments, surrenders our information delivery to both active and passive malware attacks. The potential benefits are very promising: preemptive countermeasures can be designed by observing abnormal events, efficient design and planning of networking architectures and protocols for optimal system operation, and more importantly, rapid responses to failures by making the best use of islanding strategies to halt the cascade in progress, and, with minimal cost, damage and casualties, so as to achieve information assurance.

This project is sponsored by US Army - Army Research Office.

Design and Building an Opportunistic Communications Prototype with Spectrum Contention and Cascades

Wenye Wang
05/30/16 - 05/29/18

Wireless networks have evolved into a new era, which is going beyond the traditional spectrum that are either licensed and unlicensed. Motivated by the FCC investigation as well as the huge demand for high speed wireless data networks, software defined radio networks that take the advantage of opportunistic spectrum sensing and utilization, have opened the doorway to tactical communications in military communications and many others. Therefore, this project aims to build a small prototype of software defined radio networks, which is composed of three subnets to measure the effects of spectrum congestion, in particular, the cascading failures due to jamming and spectrum interference.

This project is sponsored by US Army - Army Research Office.

NeTS-Small: Exploring Theoretical Foundation of Mobile Clouds: From One-Hop Neighbors To the Internet

Wenye Wang, Do Young Eun
10/01/14 - 09/30/18

In this project, we plan to explore fundamental issues that advance our

understanding of using mobile clouds in deliverying wireless data traffic. In other words, we aim to find out whether and under what conditions mobile clouds are feasible for providing mobile application services or not and whether there exist theoretical limits or guidelines that can help or hinder the development of mobile

clouds. An in-depth understanding of such questions would greatly help emerging new applications over mobile platform.

Therefore, we propose to focus on four inter-correlated,

equally important issues toward building blocks of a theoretical foundation for mobile cloud computing, that is, evolution of single-hop mobile cloudlet, performance of opportunistic mobile cloudlet, efficient discovery of neighboring cloudlets and spatial-temporal properties of mobile-to-cloud. In particular, we consider the data transportation over the wireless sector in which our main objective is to have a close-up of formation and evolution of mobile cloudlet over time, with possible intermediate relays, and ends

up with base stations or access points.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

NeTS: Small: Collaborative Research: On the Ontology of Inter-Vehicle Networking with Spatio-Temporal Correlation and Spectrum Cognition

Wenye Wang
10/01/15 - 09/30/18

Vehicle networks have been playing an increasing role in driving safety, network economy, and people's daily life. While vehicle networks have received tremendous attentions, the existing research is primarily focusing on the performance study of vehicular networks by taking three assumptions: there exists a vehicle network through vehicle-to-vehicle and/or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, there exists a finite path in the network between any two vehicles, and there exist attainable wireless channels for communications. In view of upcoming boom of mobile applications over vehicular networks in practice and wide-range deployment of autonomous driving vehicles in the near future, the validity of these assumptions is questionable. In this project, we propose to address four interrelated but equally important issues towards building blocks of a theoretical foundation, so called ontology of inter-vehicle networking, which are the composition of inter-vehicle networks, discovery of neighboring vehicles through spectrum cognition, coverage of messages in finite and large-scale networks, and robustness properties of inter-vehicle networks. The objective is to investigate fundamental understanding and challenges of inter-vehicle networking, including theoretical foundation and constraints in practice that enable such networks to achieve performance limits.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Student Travel Grants for 2017 N^2Women Workshop and Meetings

Wenye Wang
05/01/17 - 04/30/18

N2Women, founded by Tracy Camp and Wendi Heinzelman in 2006, is a discipline-specific community for researchers in the communications and networking research fields. The main goal of N2 Women is to foster connections among the underrepresented women in computer networking and related research fields. Women are underrepresented in this field, and networking provides the structure to mentor and encourage the younger members of the community (e.g., graduate students and junior faculty) in their career pursuits, helping them to achieve their full potential and benefitting the networking research community in particular and the computer science community overall. N2Women currently has over 1,000 members. It organizes 60-90 minute meetings at networking and communications conferences and full-day workshop events. To date, there have been over 118 meetings and 5 workshops.

In 2017, N2Women will transition to a yearly rather than biennial workshop and will also open the workshop to a percentage of men. Much of the professional development content of past workshops is broadly applicable to both male and female students and junior researchers. With generous support from SIGCOMM, IEEE ComSoc (IEEE INFOCOM and ICCCN), and other pending sponsors, N2Women will expand the workshop so that the community as a whole may benefit from this type of professional development event on a regular basis.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Collaborative Research: Modeling The Regulatory Network Of Inositol Phosphate Signaling In Plants.

Imara Y. Perera, Cranos Williams, Joel J. Ducoste
08/15/16 - 07/31/18

Myo-inositol phosphates (InsPs) are signaling molecules that are critically important in a number of developmental, metabolic and signaling processes in eukaryotes. The fully phosphorylated form, inositol hexakisphosphate or InsP6, plays important roles in many eukaryotes. A new frontier for InsP signaling is the study of unique signaling roles for a novel group of InsPs containing diphospho- or triphospho- moieties (PPx) at one or more positions on the Ins ring. In some ways, these PPx-InsPs are analogous to ATP in that they contain high-energy pyrophosphate bonds, and in addition, have been linked to communicating the energy status of the cell in other organisms. In this collaborative project, we previously developed analytical methods to detect and quantify PPx-InsPs in plant tissues, identified and cloned genes encoding the VIP kinases that are responsible for inositol pyrophosphate production in plants, and developed genetic resources to examine function of the Vip genes. Our preliminary data using mutants lacking both Vip genes reveal these genes are key in signaling the energy status of the plant cell. Further, we have identified a possible mechanistic link between inositol pyrophosphate signaling and a major regulator of eukaryotic metabolism, the Sucrose non-fermenting related kinase 1 (SnRK1). Given the immediate need to understand and manipulate plant bioenergy, the long-term goal of this project is to understand how InsP6, InsP7 and InsP8 convey signaling information within the cell. We focus on these molecules in plants, but point out that our model and findings are applicable to understanding the InsP6 signaling hub in other eukaryotes. During the proposed project, we plan to address several unresolved questions pertaining to PPx-InsPs and energy by first adding to a preliminary kinetic model of this signaling pathway.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

CREATIV Dynamic Regulatory Modeling of the Iron Deficiency Response in Arabidopsis thaliana

Cranos Williams, Joel J. Ducoste, Terri Long, James Tuck
08/15/12 - 07/31/18

In this proposal, we present a novel paradigm for identifying putative cis-regulatory promoter targets that control the regulation of stress responses in plants. This paradigm will also be used to identify critical regulatory components that differentiate the regulatory stress response across different cell types. We first develop the computational and analytical infrastructure needed to build a dynamic model of the gene regulatory network from time-course transcription profile data that quantifies the stress response. Novel analytical model refinement techniques are proposed to reduce the space of feasible solutions, generate specifications for model validation experiments, and test functional redundancy in the response. Parallel computing architectures will be used to scale the implementation of these model refinement approaches to the size and complexity associated with gene regulatory networks. The dynamic model of the gene regulatory network will be used to identify relationships between genes, build corresponding functional modules, and identify putative cis-regulatory promoter targets and regulatory components that can be used to alter responses to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Previous cell-specific transcription profiling has indicated that cell types have distinct expression profiles and respond differently to stress. We will generate cell-specific time-course transcription profiles using experiment specifications derived from the dynamic gene regulatory network. These data will be used to create a cell-specific dynamic gene regulatory network for identifying regulators that are key in differentiating the stress response between cell types.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Identification of Translational Hormone-Response Gene Networks and Cis-Regulatory Elements

Jose M. Alonso, Anna Stepanova, Steffen Heber, Cranos Williams
08/01/15 - 07/31/20

Title: Transcriptional and translational regulatory networks of hormone signal integration in tomato and Arabidopsis. PI: Jose M. Alonso (Plant Biology, NCSU), Co-PIs:Anna Stepanova (Plant Biology, NCSU), Steffen Heber (Computer Science, NCSU), Cranos Williams (Electric Engineering, NCSU).

Overview: Plants, as sessile organisms, need to constantly adjust their intrinsic growth and developmental programs to the environmental conditions. These environmentally triggered “adjustments“ often involve changes in the developmentally predefined patterns of one or more hormone activities. In turn, these hormonal changes result in alterations at the gene expression level and the concurrent alterations of the cellular activities. In general, these hormone-mediated regulatory functions are achieved, at least in part, by modulating the transcriptional activity of hundreds of genes. The study of these transcriptional regulatory networks not only provides a conceptual framework to understand the fundamental biology behind these hormone-mediated processes, but also the molecular tools needed to accelerate the progress of modern agriculture. Although often overlooked, understanding of the translational regulatory networks behind complex biological processes has the potential to empower similar advances in both basic and applied plant biology arenas. By taking advantage of the recently developed ribosome footprinting technology, genome-wide changes in translation activity in response to ethylene were quantified at codon resolution, and new translational regulatory elements have been identified in Arabidopsis. Importantly, the detailed characterization of one of the regulatory elements identified indicates that this regulation is NOT miRNA dependent, and that the identified regulatory element is also responsive to the plant hormone auxin, suggesting a role in the interaction between these two plant hormones. These findings not only confirm the basic biological importance of translational regulation and its potential as a signal integration mechanism, but also open new avenues to identifying, characterizing and utilizing additional regulatory modules in plants species of economic importance. Towards that general goal, a plant-optimized ribosome footprinting methodology will be deployed to examine the translation landscape of two plant species, tomato and Arabidopsis, in response to two plant hormones, ethylene and auxin. A time-course experiment will be performed to maximize the detection sensitivity (strong vs. weak) and diversity (early vs. late activation) of additional translational regulatory elements. The large amount and dynamic nature of the generated data will be also utilized to generate hierarchical transcriptional and translational interaction networks between these two hormones and to explore the possible use of these types of diverse information to identify key regulatory nodes. Finally, the comparison between two plant species will provide critical information on the conservation of the regulatory elements identified and, thus, inform research on future practical applications.

Intellectual merit: The identification and characterization of signal integration hubs and cis-regulatory elements of translation will allow not only to better understand how information from different origins (environment and developmental programs) are integrated, but also to devise new strategies to control this flow for the advance of agriculture.

Broader Impacts: A new outreach program to promote interest among middle and high school kids in combining biology, computers, and engineering. We will use our current NSF-supported Plants4kids platform (ref) with a web-based bilingual divulgation tools, monthly demos at the science museum and local schools to implement this new outreach program. Examples of demonstration modules will include comparison between simple electronic and genetic circuits.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Implementation and Analysis of Novel Real-Time QRS Detection Algorithms

Cranos Williams, H. T. Nagle
05/15/15 - 05/15/18

The QRS complex has been identified as a critical and important waveform in electrocardiogram signals. The time of its occurrence as well as its shape provide much information about the current state of the heart. Although the detection of the QRS complex has been an active research topic for the past 30 years, many of the different implementations have very different characteristics with respect to accuracy, time of detection, preprocessing requirements, peak detection, and performance in the presence of noise and/or signal distortion. Modifications that enable these algorithms to work in real-time have also drawn significant attention. Although others have presented reviews of several QRS detection algorithms and compared their performance in the presence of noise, a formal study that quantifies these algorithms and the tradeoffs associated with modifying these algorithms to work in real- time have not been studied. Our goal in this project is to outline such a study and provide the metrics needed to make calculated decisions on improving real-time QRS detection algorithms.

This project is sponsored by NuPulse, Inc..

Modeling of Cellulose, Hemicellulose and Lignin-Carbohydrate Complex Formation and Regulation to Understand Plant Cell Wall Structure

Vincent Chiang, Ronald R. Sederoff, Hou-min Chang, David C. Muddiman, Cranos Williams, Fikret Isik, Joel J. Ducoste, Christopher P. Smith
09/01/11 - 11/30/17

Plant cell walls are the essential components of feedstocks for biomass based liquid fuel alternatives to petroleum. The secondary cell walls of woody plants contribute greatly to biomass and are targets for improving potential feedstocks. In the application of systems biology to development of new biofuels, as in any complex biological process, predictive modeling is the central goal. We propose to use a systems approach with genome based information and mathematical modeling to advance the understanding of the biosynthesis of the plant secondary cell wall. To do this, we will use multiple transgenic perturbations and measure effects on plants using advanced quantitative methods of genomics, proteomics, and structural chemistry. The combination of quantitative analysis, transgenesis, statistical inference and systems modeling provide a novel and comprehensive strategy to investigate the regulation, biosynthesis and properties of the secondary cell wall.

This project is sponsored by US Dept. of Energy (DOE).

Achieving Performance and Power Efficiency for Single Threaded Programs

Huiyang Zhou
01/01/11 - 12/31/18

This project investigates microarchitectural techniques to achieve high performance and energy efficiency for single threaded applications.

This project is sponsored by Intel Corporation.

SaTC: CORE: Small: Towards Smart and Secure Non Volatile Memory

Huiyang Zhou
08/01/17 - 07/31/20

This research investigates smart and secure technologies for non-volatile memory.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

SHF:Small:CPU-GPU Collaborative Execution in Fusion Architectures

Huiyang Zhou
08/01/12 - 07/31/17

Recent advances in semiconductor technologies have led to fusion architectures, in which the central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) are integrated onto the same chip. Sandy

Bridge processors from Intel and accelerated processing units (APUs) from AMD are such examples.

However, current fusion architectures mainly take advantage of form factors and CPUs and GPUs operate very similar to discrete parts. In this proposal, we make the key observation that fused CPU-GPU architectures enable new opportunities to address important challenges in either CPU computing or GPU computing, which is also referred to as general-purpose computation on GPU (GPGPU).

We propose novel CPU-GPU collaborative execution paradigms, in which CPUs and GPUs execute programs in a synergic manner. In CPU-assisted GPU computing, CPUs runs ahead either to warm up the shared data cache for GPU threads or to inform GPUs the thread organization for incoming divergent branches so as to improve the GPU resource utilization. In GPU-assisted CPU computing, GPUs will either profile the locality of CPU programs to improve the memory hierarchy performance or monitor the run-time anomalies to enhance the reliability of CPU execution.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).

SHF:Small:Enabling Efficient Context Switching and Effective Latency Hiding in GPUs

Huiyang Zhou
08/01/16 - 07/31/19

This project investigates novel ways to enable efficient preemption and effective latency hiding in single-instruction multiple-thread (SIMT) processors such as graphics processing units (GPUs). With the advent of the big data era, there is an increasing demand for data processing. Given their high computational throughput and high memory access bandwidth, GPUs have been widely used, ranging from smartphones, cloud servers, to supercomputers. Although virtualization has been introduced to enable GPUs as shared resource, significant hurdles remain. First, due to the high number of concurrent threads, GPUs have a large context size. Consequently, state-of-art GPUs resort to techniques like draining to complete the actively running threads before context switching. This may incur significant delay and fail the required quality of service (QoS). Second, it is very common that applications fail to fully utilize the computational resource and achieve the peak performance. There are two fundamental reasons. (a) Each thread requires a non-trivial amount of resource. Therefore, only a limited number of threads can run concurrently even if applications themselves have abundant thread-level parallelism. Without a sufficiently high number of threads, the latency hiding capability of fine-grain multithreading is severely impaired. (b) Long latency operations, off-chip memory accesses in particular, need a very high number of concurrent threads to hide their latency. The on-chip resources, however, cannot accommodate such large numbers of concurrent threads.

This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF).