Liang (Solomon) Sun - BYU PRISM Group

Liang (Solomon) Sun

Contact Information

Journal Publications

  1. Sun, L., Castagno, J., Hedengren, J. D., and Beard, R. W., Parameter Estimation for Towed Cable Systems Using Moving Horizon Estimation, IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 51, No. 2, April 2015. Preprint, Article
  2. Nichols, J. W., Sun, L., Beard, R. W., and McLain, T. W. "Aerial Rendezvous of Small Unmanned Aircraft Using a Passive Towed Cable System", Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 2013, accepted. Preprint
  3. Sun, L., Hedengren, J. D., and Beard, R. W., Optimal Trajectory Generation using Model Predictive Control for Aerially Towed Cable Systems, Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 37, Issue 2, pp. 525-539, 2014. Preprint Article
  4. Colton, M. B., Sun, L., Carlson, D. C., and Beard, R. W., "Multi-vehicle Dynamics and Control for Aerial Recovery of Micro Air Vehicles", Int. J. Vehicle Autonomous Systems, Vol. 9, 2011, pp. 78-107. PDF

Conference Proceedings

  1. Nichols, J. and Sun, L., "Autonomous Aerial Rendezvous of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems using A Towed Cable System", 43rd Annual Society of Flight Test Engineers Symposium, Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA, October 2012. PDF
  2. Sun, L. and Beard, R. W., "Towed-body Trajectory Tracking in Aerial Recovery of Micro Air Vehicle in the presence of Wind", American Control Conference, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2011, pp. 3209-3214. PDF
  3. Sun, L., Beard, R. W., and Colton, M. B., "Motion Planning and Control for Mothership-cable-drogue Systems in Aerial Recovery of Micro Air Vehicles", American Control Conference, Baltimore, MD, USA, 2010, pp. 2101-2106. PDF
  4. Sun, L. and Beard, R. W., "Towed Body Altitude Stabilization and States Estimation in Aerial Recovery of Micro Air Vehicles", AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Toronto, Ontario Canada, August 2010. PDF
  5. Sun, L., Beard, R. W., and Colton, M. B., McLain, T. W., “Dynamics and Control of Cable-drogue System in Aerial Recovery of Micro Air Vehicles Based on Gauss’s Principle.” St. Louis, MO, USA: American Control Conference, June 2009, pp. 4729–4734. PDF


  • Academy Center for UAS Research, US Air Force Academy, CO, Apr 2013 - present
  • USL Lab, UTSA San Antonio, TX, Apr 2013 - present
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    • Developed a nonlinear control strategy for systems with unmodifiable modules such as autopilot.
    • Developed a decentralized consensus-based cooperative control strategy for multiple unmanned aerial vehicles.
    • Wrote a white paper for “Aerial Launch and Recovery for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”.
    • Writing white papers for “Virtual Target Tracking for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” and “Cooperative Localization and Tracking for Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles”.
    Lab Coordinator
    • Directed lab and research meetings.
    • Instructed a tutorial of 3D animation simulation in MATLAB.
    • Interviewed Master and Ph.D. student candidates.
  • MAGICC Lab, BYU, Provo, UT, Sep 2007 -- Apr 2013
    Research Assistant and Team Leader
    • Led the project of “Autonomous Aerial Recovery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” for Phase I and II.
    • Dedicated to dynamic modeling, motion planning and control, simulation and flight testing.
    • Developed 3D animation simulation using Simulink/MATLAB and OpenGL/C++.
    • Outperformed other research teams (M.I.T. and Georgia Tech) and achieved the contract for phase II project.
    • Implemented 60+ flights trails totaling 100+ hours of flight time.
    • Conducted the team meetings biweekly, wrote proposals and reports and presented to the clients.
    • Published two journal papers and presented and published six conference papers.
    Teaching Assistant (Fall 2009 & Fall 2012)
    • Delivered lectures for professors in the senior class, Feedback control of Dynamic Systems (60 students).
    • Supervised lab assignments using a three degree-of-freedom helicopter equipped with encoders, IMU and camera.
    • Answered questions, graded exams and homework, and prepared course materials.
    • Received high evaluation in the feedback survey of the TA work.
  • Technical Support Engineer, Beijing Teamsun Technology Co., LTD, Beijing, China, May 2007 – Aug 2007
    • Professional trained for UNIX system and Solaris server operation.
    • Solved client’s problem on-site by trouble shooting frozen servers and replacing malfunctioned components.
  • Research Assistant, Automation Academy, Beihang University, Beijing, China, Sep 2004 – May 2007
    • Developed hardware-in-the-loop real-time flight control simulation system using four computers and rudder machines connecting via the optical fiber and the reflective memory cards.
    • Developed autonomous identification of the position of the runway using image processing during self-landing.


  • PHD, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Brigham Young University (BYU) Dec 2012
    • President of Chinese Student and Scholar Association 2009-2010 at BYU
    • Conducted events, e.g., “Chinese Spring Festival Celebration” (500 ptcs.), “Moon Festival Celebration” (200 ptcs.)
    • Cooperatively conducted events, e.g., “Utah China 60th Anniversary Celebration” (600 ptcs.), and “BYU World Festival Expo”.
  • M.S. and B.S. Electrical Engineering and Automation, Beihang University (BUAA), China, Apr 2007
    • “Best Graduates” reward ( top 12 in 360 students)
    • Scholarship and awards for “Triple-A” student (2001-2003)
    • Class president (360 students)