Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-15-2022


This PhD dissertation is devoted to developing artificial intelligence (AI) applications for space missions and particle accelerators considering constraints on the computational resources. The space mission studied in this research, the Virtual Telescope for X-ray Observations (VTXO), is the mission exploiting 2 6U-CubeSats operating in a precision formation. The goal of the VTXO project is to develop a space-based, X-ray imaging telescope with high angular resolution precision. VTXO space mission is designed and the mission is optimized to increase the performance of the mission. Trajectory optimization with AI, hybrid control, control algorithms, and high performance computing are all used to design the VTXO mission. In the other development, AI is applied to particle accelerators, specifically to low-level radio-frequency (LLRF) control and linear accelerator (linacs). For the LLRF, different methods involving machine learning (ML) and optimization are used to increase the control and thus performance of the LLRF. The ML-enhanced LLRF control system can help better stabilize the phase and amplitude of the RF field in particle accelerators. Specifically, we are exploring the LLRF of the the Linac Coherent Light Source II project (LCLS-II). In this accelerator genre, the quality of the electron beam drives the quality of its product - the quality of X-rays produced in a free-electron laser (FEL). Finally, we briefly explore approaches to creating a surrogate model for use to help control a linear accelerator built by Ion Linac Systems (ILS). Such a proton accelerator can be used for generating neutrons for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) to treat cancer. For such a system to be robust and affordable in a medical setting, AI controllers can be developed to support operational tasks.


Space mission design, Monte-Carlo simulation, Optimal control, Artificial intelligence, particle accelerators, High performance computing

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Sandra Biedron

Second Committee Member

Prof. Manel Martinez-Ramon

Third Committee Member

Prof. Rafael Fierro

Fourth Committee Member

Prof. Yu-Lin Shen

Document Type




Available for download on Tuesday, May 14, 2024