Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Inseok Hwang

Committee Chair

Inseok Hwang

Committee Member 1

Martin J. Corless

Committee Member 2

Carolin E. Frueh

Committee Member 3

Jianghai Hu

Committee Member 4

Dengfeng Sun


Due to the rapid advancement of technologies on sensors and processors, engineering systems have become more complex and highly automated to meet ever stringent performance and safety requirements. These systems are usually composed of physical plants (e.g., aircraft, spacecraft, ground vehicles, etc.) and cyber components (e.g., sensing, communication, and computing units), and thus called as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs). For safe, efficient, and sustainable operation of a CPS, the states and physical characteristics of the system need to be effectively estimated or inferred from sensing data by proper information inference algorithms. However, due to the complex nature of the interacting multiple-heterogeneous elements of the CPS, the information inference of the CPS is a challenging task, where exiting methods designed for a single-element dynamic system (or for even dynamic systems with multiple-homogenous elements) could not be applicable. Moreover, the increasing number of sensor resources in CPSs makes the task even more challenging as meaningful information needs to be accurately and effectively inferred from huge amount of data, which is usually noise corrupted. Many aerospace systems such as air traffic control systems, pilot-automation integrated systems, networked unmanned aircraft systems, and space surveillance systems are good examples of CPSs and thus have the aforementioned challenging problems.

The goals of this research are to 1) overcome the challenges in complex CPSs by developing new information inference methodologies based on control, estimation, hybrid systems and information theories, and 2) successfully apply them to various complex and safety-critical aerospace systems such as air transportation systems, space surveillance systems, and integrated human-machine systems, to promote their efficiency and safety.