The Michigan Engineer News Center

Prof. Raj Nadakuditi receives AFOSR Young Investigator Award

Prof. Nadakuditi plans to provide an analytical characterization of the fundamental limits of multi-modal sensing of weak signals.| Short Read

Prof. Raj Nadakuditi received a Young Investigator Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to support research that is expected to improve the quality of information obtained from sensors and sensor networks.

His 3-year project is entitled, “Random matrix theoretic approaches to sensor fusion for sensing and surveillance in highly cluttered environments.”

The impetus for his research arises out of the technological advances which are making sensors cheaper, smaller, and therefore easier to deploy in increasing numbers. These sensors are being placed into environments that are often highly “cluttered,” meaning there’s a wide variety and quantity of sensory data that can be obtained by the sensors that is actually not relevant to the targeted data. This leads to sensory confusion as the signals from the targeted data become indistinguishable from the unimportant signals received from the statistical clutter.

To take advantage of the proliferation and capabilities of today’s sensors, improved and powerful algorithms are needed that are able to detect, estimate, and classify the weaker signals buried in “noise.”

Prof. Nadakuditi plans to provide an analytical characterization of the fundamental limits of multi-modal sensing of weak signals, as well as develop powerful, new, and improved algorithms to improve the sensing capabiilty of today’s sensors. He has already been successfully in developing algorithms that can detect signals that are 5-9 dB weaker than the best previously known algorithms.

About Prof. Nadakuditi

Prof. Nadakuditi conducts research at the interface of statistical signal processing and random matrix theory with applications such as sonar, radar, wireless communications and machine learning.

He received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Science, in 2007. Before coming to Michigan in 2009, he was a post-doctoral research associate at MIT. He is a recipient of the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and more recently of the 2012 SPS Young Author Best Paper Award.


AFOSR Press Release (1/11/12):
AFOSR awards grants to 48 scientists and engineers through its Young Investigator Research Program

The AFOSR Young Investigator Program was initiated in 2006. It is open to scientists and engineers who have received their PhD or equivalent within the past five years, and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objective of the program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

This year, 48 scientists and engineers will receive $18M in grants.

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