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.



Ph.D. Committee

My research interests lie in dynamic data-driven applications systems, cyber-physical systems, distributed algorithms, and formal verification.

Provably Safe Aerospace Systems

Current air-traffic control (ATC) is dependent on human controllers and is vulnerable to human errors. The system is not scalable and cannot be formally verified. ATC errors have been identified as factors in catastrophic 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 decision making in the face of emergencies -- 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. Intelligent aerospace systems of the future will also be more self-sufficient in terms of self-diagnosis and self-healing. This will be made possible by an unprecedented amount of real-time data from both onboard sensors and network-connected sources. The main focus of my research is to design formally-verified techniques for making aerospace systems safer. More details can be found at the project links provided below.


My research is being supported by grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Selected Publications