Saswata Paul

I am a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I am affiliated to the Worldwide Computing Laboratory (WCL) at RPI and Dr. Carlos A. Varela is my research advisor.

My hometown is Agartala, the capital of the Indian state of Tripura.



My research interests lie in dynamic data-driven cyber physical aerospace systems and formally verified air traffic management protocols.

Current air-traffic control (ATC) is dependent on human controllers who are prone to human errors. The system is not scalable and cannot be formally verified. ATC errors have been identified as factors in catasrophic incidents like the Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907, the 2002 Überlingen mid-air collision, and the much recent collision between a Cessna and a Sabreliner. Another limitation of human managed ATC is the lack of fast and precise desicion making in the face of emergencies. For e.g., in the Hudson river landing incident of US Airways Flight 1549, by the time the ATC decided that LGA13 of LaGuardia Airport, New York City, was the best possible option for landing the flight safely, the aircraft had already lost too much altitude to reach that runway.

With the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for civilian applications, the density of aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS) is expected to increase significantly in the near future. This will make it necessary to implement smarter air traffic management (ATM) systems that can ensure required separation between airborne aircraft in the NAS. Under such circumstances, the concept of free-flight, which involves a system of dynamic, automated, and distributed air traffic control, will become popular. It will be imperative for pilots and UAS computers to have the ability to independently generate flight-plans that avoid loss of standard separation with other aircraft and quickly generate valid emergency trajectories.

I have worked on dynamic data-driven decision support systems for pilots to aid in aircraft loss-of-thrust emergencies and formally verified conflict-aware flight planning algorithms. My research has been partially supported by grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). More details can be found at the links provided below.

My WCL publications list and Google Scholar page.