Sibley School Seminars: Gregory Falco- Mission-Resilient Autonomy: When Failure is Not an Option
B11 Kimball Hall
Mission-Resilient Autonomy: When Failure is Not an Option
Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Institute for Assured Autonomy and the Civil and Systems Engineering Department
Space missions are often too big to fail. Historically, extensive testing for reliability and availability was completed before space vehicle launch, which provided engineers and mission control with confidence that these systems would perform as intended. Despite the many hazards of space, systems and reliability engineers largely were aware of and planned for a wide range of failure modes that could be managed. However, the aerospace sector is rapidly evolving and we are moving towards adoption of spacecrafts that engage probabilistic autonomy where formal methods do not provide the same degree of assurance. Algorithms that dictate processes on-board spacecrafts carrying out critical missions are destined to fail – it’s only a matter of time. This talk will focus on engineering for trustworthy autonomy in mission-critical systems. We will discuss specific scenarios where mission-resilient autonomy is critical and the levers that space system engineers, mission managers and policymakers can pull so that so that when our autonomous spacecrafts don’t behave as intended, mission failure is not on the table.
Prof. Gregory Falco has been at the forefront of critical infrastructure and space system security in both industry and academia for the past decade. His research entitled Cybersecurity Principles for Space Systems was highly influential in the recent Space Policy Directive-5, which shared the same title. Prof. Falco led a research team selected as the inaugural university cohort tasked with improving automatic hazard detection and avoidance for Space Force’s Hyperspace Challenge and collaborates closely with NASA JPL on cubesat cybersecurity research. He has been listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 for his inventions and contributions to critical infrastructure cyber security. Falco has been published in Science for his work on cyber risk. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Institute for Assured Autonomy and the Civil and Systems Engineering Department. Prof. Falco serves on the Leadership Council for the Maine Spaceport Complex, as an advisor to the Space Generation Advisory Council’s Security Project Group, and as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Space Systems Critical Infrastructure Working Group. He is also a Cyber Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center and Research Affiliate at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Falco completed his PhD at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Master’s degree at Columbia University and Bachelor’s degree at Cornell University.
Cornell Engineering Community