RACELab was established by Professor Jing Sun to support advanced research and graduate education for marine system control and optimization. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art real-time simulation and control rapid prototyping technologies. An 8-node Opal-RT simulator and several programmable power supplies and loads form a reconfigurable platform for real-time simulation, control rapid prototyping and optimization algorithm validation. Two test-beds are currently housed in the RACELab: an all-electric ship power system simulator with fuel cell and gas turbine power emulators and a fully instrumented scaled model ship controlled by PC104 real-time system.
Research activities of the Lab are centered around dynamic system modeling, control algorithm development, and optimization methodology development with a unique focus on marine and automotive propulsion system applications. Computational efficiency and real-time implementation effectiveness of optimization-based control algorithms have been the main research theme in the past 5 years. Research projects conducted in the lab range from energy management systems for all-electric ships, maneuvering of marine surface vessel in nonlinear wave fields, to combined heat and power systems using fuel cells and gas turbines and adaptive control for automotive powertrain systems. The Lab receives funding from ONR, US Army, DoE, Ford, and Toyota Motor Corporation.