Dr. Scott L. Nykl, Associate Professor of Computer Science

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Scott Nykl is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the Air Force Institute of Technology. His areas of interest are Real Time 3D Computer Graphics, computer vision, sensor fusion, parallel processing, Interactive Virtual Worlds, and computer networking. Throughout his graduate studies, he authored a 3D Visualization Engine and created avionics-related visualizations earning several national awards including mention in Forbe's "The Greatest Young Inventors In America". He was a National Collegiate Inventor’s Competition finalist as well as the Institution of Navigation (ION) graduate student award recipient. While earning his doctorate, he worked at Ohio University’s Avionics Engineering Center and focused on creating novel virtual visualizations & simulations of flights in real time. Throughout his Master’s degree, he was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellow. His undergraduate degree was in Software Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, summa cum laude.

Education

2008–2013 Doctorate of Philosophy, COMPUTER SCIENCE, Ohio University, Athens, OH.
Summa cum laude, GPA: 4.0/4.0
Dissertation Title: Interactive Mesostructures

2011–2012 Master of Science, COMPUTER SCIENCE, Ohio University, Athens, OH.
Summa cum laude, GPA: 4.0/4.0
Thesis Title: High-Fidelity Distributed Physics for Continuous Interactive VirtualWorlds Using Server Clusters

2002–2006 Bachelor of Science, SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Platteville, WI.
Summa cum laude, GPA: 3.94/4.0

Awards

2019 2019 Air Force LevelWinner - S&T Advanced Technology Development Award Outstanding breakthrough in applied research &flight tests – improved automated aerial refueling TRL level.

2018 2018 SOCHE Faculty Excellence Award Demonstrated excellence in teaching, service, and scholarship throughout the academic year.

2017 AETC MAJCOM Winner - Air Force Outstanding Scientist/Engineer, Junior

2017 AFIT/ ENG’s 3rd Quarter Nominee

2016 Annual Award Winner - AFIT/EN Graduate School of Engineering & Management

2016 Gage H. Crocker Outstanding Professor Award Nominee

2016 AFIT 2nd Quarter AwardWinner for EN

2016  July 2016 2nd Quarter Award Winner for EN Civ Cat III

2013 $100,000 Technology Development Grant

Awarded grant from State of Ohio Third Frontier. Technology Validation and Start Up Fund (TVSF).

2013 Best Paper Award - ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics & Games (i3D ’13)

Awarded Best Paper for Interactive Mesostructures

2013 Outstanding Student Innovator of the Year

Sensor Fusion with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. [Link].

2012 National Graduate Finalist in the 2012 Collegiate Inventors Competition

One of Seven National Graduate Finalists. Invented a Wake Turbulent Aware Altimeter. [YouTube Link]

2012 Forbe’s The Greatest Young Inventors in America

Inventor of aWake-Turbulence Aware Altimeter. [Forbes.com Link]

2012 Institute of Navigation Section Sponsored Graduate Student Award

Demonstrated Excellence in the Advancement of the Art and Science of Navigation.

2012 Innovation Engine Accelerator Grant $20,000

Ohio University’s Entrepreneurship Grant. Founded 3D Visualization company Affine Technologies to create real time 3D Visualization of large-scale, dynamic data focusing on avionics and engineering.

2011 Student Enhancement Award $6,000

Ohio University Research and Technology Center ‘Fusion of Low Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with Real Time’. [Link]

2006 National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellow

OpenGL Computer Graphics Development during Master’s work. Created 3D Educational software to teach hard to teach science concepts to middle school children.

Publications

Journals JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS IN PRINT / TO APPEAR:

9. A. LeeA,W. DallmannA, S. Nykl, C. TaylorF, and B. BorghettiF, “Long Range Pose Estimation for Aerial Refueling Approaches Using Deep Neural Networks,” AIAA: Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, vol. TBD, no. TBD, p. 1-12,
June 2020, URL: https://doi.org/10.2514/1.I010658

8. A. LeighnerO, J. RoeberA, P. PatelO, J. PecarinaE, and S. Nykl, “FPGA Accelerated
Discrete-SURF for Vision based Aerial Navigation,” Journal of DoD Research
& Engineering (JDR&E), vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1–13, 2020

7. J. RoeberA, S. Nykl, and S. GrahamF, “Assessment of Structure from Motion for
Reconnaissance Augmentation and Bandwidth Usage Reduction,” The Journal
of Defense Modeling and Simulation, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 213–225, 2020, URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1548512919844021

6. C. ParsonsA, Z. PaulsonA, S. Nykl, W. DallmanA, B. G. WoolleyF, and
J. PecarinaF, “Analysis of Simulated Imagery for Real-Time Vision-Based Automated
Aerial Refueling,” AIAA: Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, vol. 16,
no. 3, pp. 77–93, Jan 2019, URL: https://doi.org/10.2514/1.I010658

5. Z. PaulsonA, S. Nykl, J. PecarinaF, and B.WoolleyF, “Mitigating the Effects of
Boom Occlusion on Automated Aerial Refueling through Shadow Volumes,”
The Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 175–189, 2018,
URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1548512918808408

4. Becherer, Nicholas and Pecarina, John and Nykl, Scott and Hopkinson, Kenneth, “Improving optimization of convolutional neural networks through parameter fine-tuning,” Neural Computing and Applications, Nov 2017

3. D. T. Johnson, S. Nykl, and J. Raquet, “Combining Stereo Vision and Inertial Navigation for Automated Aerial Refueling,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, vol. 40, no. 9, pp. 2250–2259, May 2017

2. W. YoungE, S. Nykl**, G. WeckmanE, and D. ChelbergE, “Using Voronoi Diagrams to Improve Classification Performances When Modeling Imbalanced Datasets,” Neural Computing and Applications, vol. 26, no. 5, 2015

1. S. Nykl**, C. MourningS, and D. ChelbergE, “Interactive Mesostructures with Volumetric Collisions,” Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 970–982, July 2014

BOOK CHAPTERS AUTHORED:

2. K. BentjenO, S. GrahamF, S. Nykl, and P. SimonO, “Introducing Persistent
Human Control into a Reservation-Based Autonomous Intersection Protocol,”
in Critical Infrastructure Protection XII, J. Staggs and S. Shenoi, Eds. New York
City: Springer, Feb 2019, ISBN: 978-3-030-04537-1

1. C. WolfeO, S. GrahamF, R. MillsF, and S. Nykl, “Securing Data-in-Transit for
Power-Limited Sensor Networks using Two-Channel Communication,” in Critical
Infrastructure Protection XII, J. Staggs and S. Shenoi, Eds. New York City:
Springer, Feb 2019, ISBN: 978-3-030-04537-1

Patents PATENTS PENDING AT US PATENT OFFICE:

2. C. Mourning and S. Nykl, “Reduction of Sensor Captured Data Streamed to an Operator,” U.S. Patent 9,756,280, September 5, 2017

1. S. Nykl and C. Mourning, “Wake Turbulence Analyzer for Real-Time Visualization, Detection, and Avoidance,” U.S. Patent 9,709,698, July, 2017

PENDING PATENTS PENDING:
1. S. Nykl, B. Woolley, and J. Pecarina, “Stereo Vision Relative Navigation of
Airborne Vehicles,” U.S. Patent Pending 62/886,550, August, 2019

Conf Full CONFERENCE PUBLICATIONS IN PRINT / TO APPEAR (REFEREED FULL PAPER):

18. J. AndersonA#, S. Nykl, and T. WischgollE, “Augmenting Flight Imagery from
Aerial Refueling with a Virtual Boom to Test Occlusion,” in Advances in Visual
Computing: 12th International Symposium, ISVC 2019, Lake Tahoe, UT, USA, October
7-9, 2019, Proceedings, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, G. Bebis, Ed.
Springer International Publishing, 2019, vol. 10073, pp. 605–615

17. J. A. VagedesO#, D. D. HodsonF, S. Nykl, and J. R. MillarF, “ECS Architecture
for Modern Military Simulators,” in Proceedings of the International Conference on
Scientific Computing (CSC). The Steering Committee of The World Congress in
Computer Science, 2019, pp. 118–122

16. B. BurfeindO#, R. MillsF, S. Nykl, J. BetancesF, and C. SielskiE, “Confidential
ADS-B: A Lightweight, Interoperable Approach,” in 2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference,
ser. IEEE Aerospace Conference. Big Sky, Montana: IEEE, 2019

15. N. SeydelA, W. DallmannA#, and S. Nykl, “Visualizing behaviors when using real vs synthetic imagery for computer vision,” in Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Scientific Computing, Las Vegas, NV, 2018

14. K. BentjenO#, S. GrahamF, and S. Nykl, “Modelling Misbehaviour in Automated Vehicle Intersections in a Synthetic Environment,” in 13th International Conference on Cyber Warefare and Security (ICCWS). ICCWS, March 2018

13. K. BentjenO#, S. GrahamF, and S. Nykl, “Introducing Persistent Human Control into a Reservation-Based Autonomous Intersection Protocol,” in International Conference of Critical Infrastructure Protection. IFIP, March 2018

12. C.WolfeO#, S. GrahamF, R. MillsF, S. Nykl, and P. SimonO, “Securing Data-in-Transit for Power-Limited Sensor Networks using Two-Channel Communication,” in International Conference of Critical Infrastructure Protection. IFIP, March 2018

11. C. ParsonsA and S. Nykl, “Real-Time Automated Aerial Refueling Using Stereo Vision,” in Advances in Visual Computing: 12th International Symposium, ISVC 2016, Las Vegas, NV, USA, December 12-14, 2016, Proceedings, Part II, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, G. Bebis, Ed. Springer International Publishing, 2016, vol. 10073, pp. 605–615

10. J. RobinsonU, M. PiekenbrockU, L. BurchettO, S. Nykl#, B.Woolley, and A. Terzuoli, “Real-Time Automated Aerial Refueling Using Stereo Vision,” in Advances in Visual Computing: 12th International Symposium, ISVC 2016, Las Vegas, NV, USA, December 12-14, 2016, Proceedings, Part II, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, G. Bebis, Ed. Springer International Publishing, 2016, vol. 10073, pp. 593–602

9. C. MourningS, S. Nykl**, and D. ChelbergE, “Disocclusion Mitigation for Image Based Point Cloud Imposters,” in Advances in Visual Computing, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2014, vol. 8888, pp. 861–871

8. S. Nykl**, C. MourningS, and D. ChelbergE, “Interactive Mesostructures,” in Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games, ser. I3D ’13, 2013, pp. 37–44

7. S. Nykl**, C. MourningS, E. NyklS, D. ChelbergE, and T. SkidmoreE, “JPALS Visualization Tool,” in Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (DS-RT), 2012 IEEE/ACM 16th International Symposium on, Oct 2012, pp. 3–10

6. S. Nykl**, C. MourningS, N. GhandiS, and D. ChelbergE, “A Flight Tested Wake Turbulence Aware Altimeter,” in Advances in Visual Computing, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing, 2011, vol. 6939, pp. 219–228

5. C. MourningS, S. Nykl**, and D. ChelbergE, “An Analysis of Impostor Based Level of Detail Approximations for LIDAR Data,” in Advances in Visual Computing, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011, vol. 6939, pp. 637–646

4. C. MourningS, S. Nykl**, H. XuS, D. ChelbergE, and J. LiuE, “GPU Acceleration of Robust Point Matching,” in Advances in Visual Computing, ser. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, G. Bebis, Ed. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2010, vol. 6455, pp. 417–426

3. C. MourningS, S. Nykl**, D. ChelbergE, T. FranklinE, and C. LiuE, “An Overview of First Generation STEAMiE Learning Objects,” in Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2009, G. Siemens and C. Fulford, Eds. Honolulu, HI, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), June 2009, pp. 3748–3757

2. S. Nykl**, C. MourningS, M. LeitchS, D. ChelbergE, T. FranklinE, and C. LiuE, “An Overview of the STEAMiE Educational Game Engine,” in Frontiers in Education Conference, 2008. FIE 2008. 38th Annual, Oct 2008, pp. F3B–21–F3B–25

1. S. L. Nykl**, K. T. RieseS, and J. E. RundeS, “A GPS Guided Remote Controlled Truck,” in 39th Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium (MICS ’06), ser. MICS ’06. Mt. Pleasant, IA, USA: Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium, 2006

Conf Abstr CONFERENCE PUBLICATIONS IN PRINT / TO APPEAR (REFEREED ABSTRACT):

15. R. RaettigA# and S. Nykl, “Aided Stereo Vision Calibration Process for Automated
Aerial Refueling,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint
Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’20. Cincinnati, OH, USA: Institute
of Navigation, Sept 2020

14. J. LarsonA# and S. Nykl, “Convolutional Neural Networks to Improve Pose
Estimation in Automated Aerial Refueling,” in Proceedings of the Institute of
Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’20. Cincinnati,
OH, USA: Institute of Navigation, Sept 2020

13. V. BownesA# and S. Nykl, “Using Augmented Reality to Test Boom Occlusion
Mitigation Methods in AAR,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION)
Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’20. Cincinnati, OH, USA:
Institute of Navigation, Sept 2020

12. A. LeeA# and S. Nykl, “Biologically Inspired Machine Learning to Improve
Automated Aerial Refueling Algorithms,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation
(ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’19. Long Beach,
CA, USA: Institute of Navigation, July 2019

11. B. FrenchA# and S. Nykl, “Determining Virtually Simulated Aerial Refueling
Fidelity using Physically Collected Stereo Vision Images and DGPS-based Truth
Data,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference
(JNC), ser. ION JNC ’19. Long Beach, CA, USA: Institute of Navigation, July
2019

10. M. CrowlA# and S. Nykl, “Use of LIDAR in Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR):
An Improvement over the Existing Stereo Vision System,” in Proceedings of the
Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’19.
Long Beach, CA, USA: Institute of Navigation, July 2019

9. C. ArnoldA# and S. Nykl, “Assessment of Computer Vision Techniques for Reconnaissance
Augmentation and Bandwidth Usage Reduction,” in Proceedings
of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION
JNC ’18. Long Beach, CA, USA: Institute of Navigation, July 2018

8. W. DallmannA# and S. Nykl, “Matching Simulated Boom Occlusion Data to
Truth Data for Automated Aerial Refueling,” in Proceedings of the Institute of
Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’18. Long
Beach, CA, USA: Institute of Navigation, July 2018

7. J. RoeberA# and S. Nykl, “Reducing C2 Bandwidth via Swarm-Based Real-time Three-Dimensional Model Synthesis,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’17. Dayton, OH, USA: Institute of Navigation, 2017

6. Z. PaulsonA# and S. Nykl, “Quantifying the Effect of Boom Occlusion on Relative Positioning for AAR,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’17. Dayton, OH, USA: Institute of Navigation, 2017

5. N. SeydelA# and S. Nykl, “Autonomous Aerial Refueling Flight Testing and Data Collection Engineering,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’17. Dayton, OH, USA: Institute of Navigation, 2017

4. L. Burchett, J. Robinson, M. Piekenbrock, S. Nykl, B.Woolley, and A. Terzuoli, “Automated aerial refueling: Parallelized 3d iterative closest point,” in IEEE NAECON, 2016, pp. 1–5

3. C. ParsonsA# and S. Nykl, “Relative Positioning for Automated Aerial Refueling Using Stereoscopic Imagery from Geometrically Accurate Real-Time Virtual Worlds,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’16. Dayton, OH, USA: Institute of Navigation, 2016

2. T. StuartA#, S. CalhounE#, and S. Nykl, “Integrity Monitoring for Stereo Vision-Based Automated Air Refueling,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’16. Dayton, OH, USA: Institute of Navigation, 2016

1. D. JohnsonA# and S. Nykl, “Fusion of Stereo Machine Vision with INS/GPS for Automated Aerial Refueling,” in Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Joint Navigation Conference (JNC), ser. ION JNC ’16. Dayton, OH, USA: Institute of Navigation, 2016

Presentations and Posters - No Corresponding Paper:

5. A. LeeA#, C. ArnoldA#, and S. Nykl, “Real Time Structure from Motion Using
Planar Homography Estimation,” in Consortium of Ohio Universities on Navigation
& Timekeeping (COUNT), April 2019

4. M. CrowlA#, B. FrenchA#, and S. Nykl, “Real Time Visual Rel-NAV Using EO
and LWIR for Automated Aerial Refueling,” in Consortium of Ohio Universities
on Navigation & Timekeeping (COUNT), April 2019

3. W. DallmannA# and S. Nykl, “Matching Simulated Boom Occlusion Data to Truth Data for Automated Aerial Refueling,” in Consortium of Ohio Universities on Navigation & Timekeeping (COUNT), April 2018 2. C. ArnoldA# and S. Nykl, “Bandwidth Reduction via Structure from Motion on
Remote Imaging Systems,” in Consortium of Ohio Universities on Navigation & Timekeeping (COUNT), April 2018

1. N. SeydelA#, Z. PaulsonA#, C. ParsonsA, and S. Nykl, “Real Time Automated Aerial Refueling using Synthetic Stereo Vision Imagery,” in Consortium of Ohio Universities on Navigation & Timekeeping (COUNT), April 2017

Other Publications PUBLISHED WORK NOT MENTIONED ABOVE:

2. S. Nykl**, “Interactive Mesostructures,” Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio University,December 2013

1. S. Nykl**, “High-Fidelity Distributed Physics for Continuous Interactive Virtual Worlds Using Server Clusters,” Master’s thesis, Ohio University, August 2008

Invited Talks TALKS, LECTURES, AND PRESENTATIONS NOT MENTIONED ABOVE:

4. S. Nykl#, “Automated Aerial Refueling using Visual RelNav,” in Proceedings of the Aerial Refueling Systems Advisory Group (ARSAG)), ser. ARSAG ’17. Orlando, FL, USA: ARSAG, 27 April 2017

3. S. Nykl#, “AFRL/Boeing/AFIT Aerial Refueling Operator Automation,” Technology Lecture, TecEdge, Dayton, OH, USA, February 2017

2. T. StuartA# and S. Nykl, “Integrity Monitoring for Stereo Vision-Based Automated Air Refueling,” in Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Great Lakes Symposium (SETP), ser. SETP ’16. Wright Patterson AFB, OH, USA: SETP, 2016

1. S. Nykl#, “Automated Aerial Refueling: Towards Autonomy & Crew Reduction,” in Proceedings of the Aerial Refueling Systems Advisory Group (ARSAG)), ser. ARSAG ’16. Jacksonville, FL, USA: ARSAG, 21 April 2016

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