Planning IUCRC at Texas A&M University: Center for Ocean System Simulation and Control
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Ocean systems are critical to the well-being of the United States, providing goods through shipping and port systems, providing energy through offshore oil, gas, and renewable development, and providing national security through ocean based national defense systems. The integration of autonomy into ocean systems has the potential to significantly impact these fundamental industries by reducing costs and enabling new industry advances through unmanned navigation of transport vessels, development of underwater drones for oceanographic surveying or defense activities, digital twin development for operation and control of vehicles and platforms, and optimization in design for the development of competitive renewable energy technologies. The Center for Ocean System Simulation and Control (COSSC) seeks to integrate multi-fidelity computational modeling techniques with physical sensor systems to advance fundamental research in the controlled operation of smart ocean systems, including the use of advanced materials, the use of distributed sensing, autonomy and innovation of vehicles and platforms, energy savings, and fluid-structure dynamic modeling. Based on the research interests inputs given by the industry, both sites will form diversified research groups including underrepresented students, organize outreach programs for young generations, and design short courses for industry professionals. The objective of this planning phase of the center is to assess the viability of the center, with two sites located at Texas A&M University (TAMU) and the University of Rhode Island (URI). This project will include a planning meeting to meet with prospective industry members of the center to present fundamental research topics and develop a set of initial industry vetted research projects to form the research basis of the center. The TAMU site will focus on industry collaborations in offshore oil and gas and shipbuilding, with example research topics in smart offshore system health monitoring, coupled fluid-structure modeling, CFD of extreme loading events, optimization of floating vessel geometry, and complexity reduction in CFD modeling. The URI site will focus on industry collaborations in defense and ocean renewable energy with example research topics in fast CFD hybrid methods, floating vehicle motion control from reconstructed sea states, hydrodynamic modeling for micro UUVs, moving vehicle digital twins, and interaction of wave energy converters with marine sediments. This award reflects NSF''s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation''s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.