Florida Tech professor receives grant for sensing technology and robotics

US Department of Education grant funds remote sensing and robotic studies

MELBOURNE, FLA. -- Dr. Charles Bostater, Florida Tech associate professor of physical oceanography and environmental sciences, has received a $423,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education. The grant, for remote sensing and robotic studies, is from the department's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and was earned in a competitive, peer-reviewed competition for the Atlantis-STARS program.

The grant continues and supports a cooperative international effort with Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and the Royal Military Academy (RMA) in Brussels, Belgium. In this new effort, faculty and students are developing an interdisciplinary curriculum that directly focuses on remote sensing systems, moving robotic (mechatronics) platforms and the system risks associated with the detection of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and with humanitarian de-mining. The technology to detect these materials may also be used in marine and coastal environments.

The project goals are to develop course material and methods for credit exchanges among the universities, and to create open degree offerings for U.S. and international students from BME and RMA so that they may receive U.S.

Sensing Technology and Robotics and European undergraduate degrees in their major. Selected students majoring in remote sensing, mechanical engineering, systems engineering, ocean engineering, computer science and electrical engineering will be provided stipends to travel to one of the European institutions.

Drs. Balint Kiss of BME and Yvon Baudoin of the RMA are co-project investigators with Bostater, the principal U.S. investigator. "The project will help to develop the necessary international and interdisciplinary talent vital today and in the future to meet the needs of securing sustainable safe environments," said Bostater.

Bostater is also director of the Florida Tech College of Engineering's Marine-Environmental Optics Lab and Remote Sensing Center. He began this effort under a similar grant in 2004.

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