I am currently an ASEE Postdoctoral Fellow in the Acoustics Divison at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory working on autonomy-related problems for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).
I received my Ph.D. in 2015 from the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department at Virginia Tech where my work centered around the use of optimal control theory for vehicle path planning, as well as the design of an underwater glider with novel actuators and several unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
Optimal Control and Motion Planning. My research in this area has been grounded in optimal control theory. In particular, I have focused on "local" planning methods for guidance of atmospheric and marine vehicles in currents. More recently, I have worked on path planning under sensor and vehicle kinematic model constraints for a series of inspection tasks using combinatorial optimization techniques.
“Time-optimal path planning for a kinematic car with variable speed,” A. Wolek, E. M. Cliff, C. A. Woolsey, Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 39(10)2374-2390, 2016. [Link]
“Energy-optimal paths for a glider with speed and load factor controls,” A. Wolek, E. M. Cliff, C. A. Woolsey, Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 39(2):397-405, 2016. [Link]
“Feasible Dubins paths in the presence of unknown, unsteady velocity disturbances,” A. Wolek and C. A. Woolsey. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 38(4):782-787, 2015. [Link]
Autonomy. My contributions in this area have included developing autonomous behaviors for underwater vehicles, as well as collaborating with other researchers on goal-driven autonomy and time-constrained sub-sea search problems.
“At-sea evaluation of a passive, bearing-only, tracking behavior,” A. Wolek, B. R. Dzikowicz, J. McMahon, B. H. Houston, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 2018. [Link]
“Towards real-time search planning in subsea environments,” J. McMahon, H. Yetkin, A. Wolek, Z. Waters, D. J. Stilwell, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2017. [Link]
“Goal reasoning for autonomous underwater vehicles: responding to unexpected agents,” M. A. Wilson, J. McMahon, A. Wolek, D. Aha, B. H. Houston, AI Communications, 31(2):151-166, 2018. [Link].