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Space Systems

Space is the common element that brings together the wide-ranging interests and approaches of faculty and graduate students in the Space Systems Area. Broadly, their research centers on the behaviors of natural bodies and man-made vehicles outside of Earth’s atmosphere, which pose some of the most mathematically and technologically challenging problems in aerospace engineering and mechanics. Some examples of current research activities include studies of multibody spacecraft including space-based manipulators, where robotics meets astrodynamics; celestial mechanics, including the dynamics of planetary ring systems and the motion of bodies near libration points; dynamics and control of high-agility satellites with control-moment gyroscopes; estimation of orbits, attitude, and ionospheric phenomena from GPS signals; spacecraft attitude determination and control; electrodynamic propulsion; the dynamics and control of formations, clusters and swarms of spacecraft; and centimeter-size space vehicles. Methods include theoretical approaches to nonlinear dynamics, optimal solution algorithms for estimation and control problems, computer-based modeling and numerical simulation, innovation in space-systems architecture, the design and operation of flight experiments, and the analysis of science data from NASA spacecraft. Each year over a hundred undergraduates and M.Eng. students are engaged in Space Systems research projects that comprise design, analysis, fabrication, integration, verification and operation of actual flight vehicles, GPS experiments, and space payloads. By participating in the full lifecycle of complete space systems, students acquire insight into the realization of new ideas that prepares them for careers in academia, research, innovation, and technology leadership.

Research Area Faculty

  Name Department Contact
jab16.jpg Burns, Joseph Arthur
Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Emeritus, and Professor of Astronomy
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
mc288.jpg Campbell, Mark
S.C. Thomas Sze Director of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, John A. Mellowes '60 Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 139 Upson Hall
607 255-4268
mp336.jpg Peck, Mason Alan
Associate Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 455 Upson Hall
607 255-4023
ds264.jpg Savransky, Dmitry
Assistant Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 451 Upson Hall
646 801-9356
ds925.jpg Selva, Daniel
Assistant Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 449 Upson Hall
607 255-6351
zw24.jpg Wang, Z. Jane
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 323 Thurston Hall
607 255-5354