Science for Brunch- Marlos Machado





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Skyline Lounge




All Day

Multiple Times




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October 15, 2023




Flying Balloons in the Stratosphere with AI

The stratosphere is a unique region positioned between the altitudes that satellites and aircraft typically operate in. It is characterized by its proximity to the ozone layer and shares some similarities with the space environment. It is within this realm that superpressure and high-altitude balloons reside, offering diverse applications such as weather monitoring, aerial photography, telecommunications, and technology validation for long-duration space missions. These balloons can operate without engines or fuel but effectively navigating them poses significant challenges. Real-time decision-making, incorporating numerous variables like wind speed and solar elevation, becomes complex due to forecast errors and limited wind measurements.In this talk, Dr. Machado will delve into their work on developing an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to serve as a high-performing flight controller for superpressure balloons. This AI solution surpasses human-designed control methods, demonstrating its effectiveness in tackling real-world autonomous control problems where conventional approaches and human intervention fall short. Dr. Machado will present an overview of the fundamental AI concepts employed in this project, providing insights into the development process and shedding light on the intriguing behaviours learned by the AI system.

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