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News: Professor D’Amico Lectures on Distributed Space Systems to Argentina’s Space Community

By Josh Sullivan   November 17, 2015

SLAB’s Principal Investigator, Prof. Simone D’Amico, will travel to the National University of La Plata (UNLP), Argentina, from November 15th to November 21st, to give a 4­-day seminar on the topic of Distributed Space Systems (DSS). The seminar, sponsored by the Argentine Space Agency (CONAE) and aerospace companies INVAP and ARSAT, is expected to host an audience of university graduate students, academic and industry professionals. Prof. D’Amico will share his hands-on experience with spacecraft formation-flying missions such as GRACE (NASA/DLR), TanDEM-­X (DLR), and PRISMA (OHB Sweden/DLR/CNES) to provide a unique comprehensive course which fuses advanced astrodynamics with Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) for co­-orbiting satellites.

This is not the first collaboration between Prof. D’Amico and the Argentine space community. In September 2014, Dr. Martin España of CONAE invited Prof. D’Amico to be a guest speaker at a few colloquiums in Argentina. This time, Dr. España and his colleague Prof. Carlos Muravchik of UNLP have organized an informative seminar with the intent of fostering the interests and skill of graduate students and industry professionals alike. Each day of the course will consist of five hours of intensive lecture and two hour-long problem sessions where the audience will be able to engage with the course material through challenging real-world examples. Topics will include non­-Keplerian motion and perturbations, mapping between relative orbit elements and Hill coordinates, impulsive formation control and GPS relative navigation, to name a few.

According to Prof. Muravchik, CONAE has a number of projects underway which leverage satellite formations for distributed radar and 3D surveying. In the context of furthering both SLAB’s research goals as well as CONAE’s future missions, collaborations such as this seminar are a critical stepping stone toward the advancement of the state-of-the-art in DSS. In the words of Prof. Muravchik regarding the course: “It was of mutual interest to expand the interaction among us, and the best way to start it was by inviting Professor D’Amico, a world-­relevant and outstanding personality in the topic, to lecture a short course. We expect this will encourage all the participants and be the basis for further collaboration.” 


Josh Sullivan is a graduate student in Stanford’s Space Rendezvous Lab

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