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Engineering professors receive Department of Defense grant for work on safety-critical systems

Friday, Nov. 20, 2020

John Hatcliff

John Hatcliff, Kansas State University distinguished professor of computer science | Download this photo.

 

 

MANHATTAN — Two Kansas State University professors of computer science have been awarded just over $400,000 for two years by the U.S. Department of Defense — Army for development of techniques in building safety-critical systems used in military operations.

The project, "Grand Unified Modeling of Behavioral Operators (GUMBO) SBIR Phase 2" funded under the Adventium Enterprises LLC program, will be led by John Hatcliff, university distinguished professor and Lucas-Rathbone professor in engineering, with co-investigator, Robby, professor and Don and Linda Glaser — Carl and Mary Ice Keystone research scholar.

"The behavior description notation is easy for developers to use and understand, but is based on advanced logics that can be automatically processed by computer verification tools," Hatcliff said. "When components obtained from different suppliers are integrated into a system, these verification tools can prove that important behaviors of each component work correctly with those of other components and that key functionality of the overall system is achieved."

This behavior specification and verification framework incorporates the Architecture Analysis and Design Language — a modeling language incorporated into multiple uses by the Army, including its Future Vertical Lift program. Future Vertical Lift, a plan to develop a family of military helicopters for the U.S. Armed Forces, involves sharing common hardware such as sensors, avionics, engines and countermeasures for five different sizes of aircraft under development.

"Results of our work will help engineers building critical systems more precisely understand behaviors of system components and will enable them to detect and fix system integration problems earlier in the system development process," Hatcliff said. "The developed framework will also aid the defense industry in adopting approaches to build critical systems from reusable components and platforms.

"The award further strengthens relationships between the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering and companies working on defense industry research programs," he said. "Moreover, it provides an opportunity to showcase K-State engineering faculty, students and research results in long-term programs building next-generation military capabilities."



Written by

Mary Rankin
mrankin@k-state.edu