Category: Research

Michigan Tech at SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing 2024

Tim Havens (CS/ICC/GLRC) and Steve Senczyszyn (GLRC) attended and presented at the SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing conference, held April 21–25 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Senczyszyn presented “Comparing performance of robot operating system (ROS) mapping algorithms in the presence of degraded or obscured depth sensors.” His co-authors include Havens; Tony Pinar (ECE); Adam Webb (MTRI); ECE undergraduate Mohamed Salem; ECE graduates Elizabeth Donoghue, Shelby Wills and Moira Broestl; and U.S. Army engineer Stanton Price.

Havens presented “Synthetic augmentation methods for object detection in infrared overhead imagery.” His co-authors include Ashley Olson (MTRI) and Jonathan Christian and Jason Summers of ARiA.

Dylan Kangas (ECE) presented “Developing robust unmanned surface vehicles with ROS.” His co-authors include Havens, Senczyszyn, Pinar, Keven Li (ME-EM), ECE undergraduates Salem and Tyler Ryynanen, U.S. Army engineers Steven Price and Stanton Price, and Stephen Taylor and Timothy Murphy of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center.

Havens and Olsen are also co-authors of a presentation by Summers and Christian of ARiA titled “Generative EO/IR multi-scale vision transformer for improved object detection.”

Durdu Güney on Superlensing

Durdu Güney in the lab.
Durdu Güney in the lab, captured with an optical lensing effect.

Durdu Güney (ECE) was quoted by IEEE Spectrum in a story about a study investigating a new method for “superlensing,” or seeing things smaller than the wavelength of light.

Australian researchers Boris Kuhlmey and coauthor Alessandro Tuniz used numerical calculations to regain high-resolution information needed to amplify a dim signal. The method was used instead of a physical superlens to image objects smaller than the wavelength of light.

The postprocessing central to the Australian approach is similar to techniques routinely used in other areas of microscopy, according to Durdu Güney who studies superlensing at Michigan Tech.

Although the application to imaging is new, Guney says, “conceptually, I think the idea is not very novel.”

His research has used similar techniques in higher optical frequencies, for which superlensing is more advanced. Güney also questions whether the approach will be effective for more complicated objects, some of the features of which may be overwhelmed by noise.

Durdu Güney is an associate professor in Electrical and Computing Engineering. His current research activities include photonic quantum computing, quantum manipulation of light with metamaterials and metasurfaces, magneto-optical metamaterials, and novel noise mitigation techniques for optical imaging. He is on the editorial boards of Opto-Electronic Advances, Journal of Quantum Information Science, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, Applied Sciences, and Photonics.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum, by Gwendolyn Rak.

New Faculty Spotlight: Anna Stuhlmacher

Dr. Anna Stuhlmacher

Assistant Professor Anna Stuhlmacher comes to Michigan Tech from the University of Michigan. She earned a BS at Boston University and an MS and PhD at the University of Michigan, all in electrical engineering. She interned at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and grew up in the Chicago area. Welcome, Dr. Stuhlmacher!

What drew you to Michigan Tech?

There’s a lot to like about Michigan Tech! It has a great engineering and electric power systems program. Besides that, I was really drawn to the nature and outdoor recreation opportunities close to Michigan Tech’s campus. I am hoping to get more into cross country skiing this winter.

What is your primary area of research and what led you to it?

In my research, I focus on the electric power grid. I was led to the power systems area by doing undergraduate research. Between my junior and senior year, I did a summer research opportunity program at the University of Michigan. Over the span of two months, I focused on the impact of load control on power distribution networks and found this research area to be really neat. When I returned to Boston University for my senior year, I took as many of the power and energy courses as I could and applied to PhD programs with a focus on power systems.

“Consider getting involved in research as an undergraduate student.”

Dr. Anna Stuhlmacher’s advice for incoming students.

Can you share a little more about your research and what you like about it?

Broadly, my research explores optimizing and controlling distributed energy resources (like solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles) in the power grid to provide flexibility. Flexibility is important in the transition to more sustainable and reliable energy systems. I am particularly interested in modeling and optimizing the inherent flexibility and uncertainty propagation between power systems and other infrastructure systems, such as drinking water and agricultural systems, as well as ensuring that the power grid is resilient to natural hazards.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to hike, mountain bike, rock climb, and read.

Any favorite spots on campus, in Houghton, or in the UP?

I moved here earlier in the summer and I have really been enjoying the Tech Trails and the Maasto Hiihto Trails in nearby Hancock. If anyone has any hiking or mountain biking recommendations, please let me know.

Any advice for incoming students?

Consider getting involved in research as an undergraduate student. It can be such a valuable experience to have, especially at a time when you are figuring out what interests you and exploring different career paths.

MTU RedTeam Places Third in CyberSEED CTF

The MTU RedTeam competed in the 2023 CyberSEED Capture the Flag (CTF) competition, held virtually March 4. The highly competitive seven-hour collegiate CTF engaged 333 students and 118 teams from universities across the country.

Placing third, RedTeam Team 1 earned 2,390 points with 93.41% accuracy. Team members were undergraduates Ryan Klemm (computer science), Audrey LaCost (chem informatics), Joshua Stiebel (computer engineering) and Noah Holland (cybersecurity). The team was awarded a $2,000 prize.

ReadTeam Team 2 placed 73rd in the contest. Team members were undergraduates Noah Hansen, Riley Meeves and Mason Staedt (all cybersecurity) and master’s student Gary Tropp (cybersecurity).

RedTeam Team 3 finished 99th in the event. Team members were undergraduates Ava Gullitti (electrical engineering) and Joshua Stevens (cybersecurity) and master’s student Dev Sanghani (cybersecurity). 

The annual CyberSEED CTF event is hosted by the University of Connecticut. The competition’s cybersecurity challenges included a set of flags focusing on reverse engineering, web application security, network traffic analysis, cryptography and other challenges.

Read more on the Computing News Blog.

Bos Group on Testing of Lidar for Autonomous Vehicles

Colorful lidar image of an outdoor area in one image, with a near vertical green line in the second image.
(a) The reference point cloud scan (gray) overlayed with point clouds collected by each of the DUT lidars (colors). (b) Side view of an initial alignment between the reference point cloud (green) and point clouds from the DUT lidars for the 10 m target. Notice that the target is tilted toward the test origin. See the open source article link below.

Jeremy Bos (ECE) was quoted and PhD student Zach Jeffries (electrical engineering) and Akhil Kurup ’22 (PhD, computer engineering) were mentioned by SPIEGreen Car CongressTech XploreBioengineering.org and SCIENMAG in a story about a three-year effort to develop tests and performance standards for lidars used in autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems.

Bos led the testing through its first year, with Jeffries’ assistance. The team’s findings are detailed in an open-access paper published this month in Optical Engineering.

Zach D. JeffriesJeremy P. BosPaul F. McManamon, Charles Kershner, Akhil M. Kurup
Optical Engineering, Vol. 62, Issue 3, 031211 (January 2023). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.62.3.031211

Extract

This paper describes the initial results from the first of 3 years of planned testing aimed at developing methods, metrics, and targets necessary to develop standardized tests for these instruments. Here, we evaluate range error accuracy and precision for eight automotive grade lidars; a survey grade lidar is used as a reference. These lidars are tasked with detecting a static, child-sized, target at ranges between 5 and 200 m.

Our purpose in this work is to motivate the development of test standards in this area and highlight variations in performance between lidars when stated specifications are similar.

Proposed additions to the testing include more complex targets, dynamic targets, placing corner cubes, or identical lidars on the test range, and weather effects.

Maurer, Brock, and Hilliker Present at Defense Manufacturing Conference

The Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC 2022), was held in Tampa, Florida, on December 5–8. DMC is the nation’s annual forum for enhancing and leveraging the efforts of engineers, managers, technology leaders, scientists, and policy makers across the defense manufacturing industrial base.

Developing Disruptive and Transformational Solutions

Three electrical and computing engineering students presenting their research were:

Michael Maurer (PhD Candidate)
Presentation Title: Periodically Poled Polymers as an Entangled Photon Source

Giard Brock (Undergraduate)
Presentation Title: Ultra-violet Liquid Crystal Display Resin Printer Exposure Method for Rapid Prototyping of Printed Circuit Boards

Austin Hilliker (Undergraduate)
Presentation Title: Utilization of a Commercial Off the Shelf Laser Engraver for Rapid Production of Printed Circuit Boards

Three students check in for the conference.
Giard Brock, Michael Maurer, and Austin Hilliker

Nathir Rawashdeh Comments on Bad Weather Driving Project

Nathir A. Rawashdeh
Nathir A. Rawashdeh

Nathir Rawashdeh was quoted by Digital Engineering 24/7 in a story about artificial intelligence and simulation software helping engineers test autonomous vehicles’ driving in bad weather.

Rawashdeh is assistant professor in the Department of Applied Computing, an affiliated assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a member of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC).

Rainmakers for Autonomous Driving

Nature presents a major obstacle when engineers test autonomous driving in bad weather. You cannot invoke a snowy, rainy or sunny day on demand; nor can you summon up a thunderstorm at your engineering team’s convenience—at least you can’t in the real world. But you can in the virtual world where you control the pixels. This has now become a growing business segment for simulation software makers.

“Sensor and computing technologies are rapidly evolving and changing in an engineering sense, which requires continuous updating of noise simulation and sensor degradation models to serve the ADAS community of engineers and researchers,” Rawashdeh says.

Read more at Digital Engineering 24/7, by Kenneth Wong.

Lucas and Whitaker Place in Computing[MTU] Showcase Poster Session

Evan Lucas
Evan Lucas
Steven Whitaker
Steven Whitaker

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems has announced the winners of the first Computing[MTU] Showcase Poster Session. Among the winners were electrical and computer engineering graduate students Evan Lucas and Steven Whitaker for “Active learning with binary feedback on multiclass problems,” who were tied for second place with Suresh Pokharel of Computer Science.

Active learning with binary feedback on multiclass problems

An active learning approach is often used for multiclass classification problems, where predictions are made on new data and a human user is used to determine if the predictions are correct. Typical approaches may ask a human to select the correct class if the prediction is incorrect. This work attempts to use a binary feedback on the predicted classes to save time and allow maximal use of a negative prediction on a partly trained model.

Anindya Ghoshroy Joins the Field of Compressed Ultrafast Photography

Anindya Ghoshroy
Anindya Ghoshroy

Dr. Anindya Ghoshroy (PhD ’20) begins the new year with a postdoctoral researcher position at California Institute of Technology. Ghoshroy will be working under the direction of Dr. Lihong Wang, a world-renowned researcher in the imaging field, and the inventor of the fastest optical technology in the world, called compressed ultrafast photography (CUP), capable of 10 trillion frames per second.

Wang and Ghoshroy are interested in the next big step – investigating the near field implementations of ultrafast photography, and the resolution of nanoscale transient scenes. An integration of the CUP framework with “active convolved illumination” (ACI), an image-capturing technology that Ghoshroy and his PhD advisor Dr. Durdu Guney have been developing, and will potentially lead to a significant first step towards this direction.

ACI, being immune to “noise” will potentially enable imaging of live cells, virus, and bacteria with fine details, not accessible with the state-of-the-art imaging systems.

Set of ACI images.
Ground truth, Raw data, ACI futuristic illustration of SARS CoV2, ACI OFF, ACI ON with 3 nm scale bar, and ACI ON as a 3D model.

Christopher Middlebrook Awarded Device from Gentec-EO Laser Lab

Device with laser beam and software display.

Chris Middlebook (ECE) was one of the winners of the Gentec-EO Laser Lab Awards. Middlebrook won a Beamage-4M laser beam profiler.

The Gentec-EO Laser Lab Awards contest aims to support optics laboratories in universities and colleges in the United States. Its goal is to ensure students have access to the same quality measurement instruments that are used today in the industry.