Space Fligth Dynamics Lab

The laboratory conducts research on subjects related to space flight dynamics. This is a broad field that comprises matters ranging from celestial mechanics to optimal control. Both analytical and numerical methods are employed to tackle this extensive set of problems.
Within the wide range of space flight matters, the interest of this lab is focused on the following subjects.

Tether Dynamics

Space tethers exhibit a complex motion. The strong coupling between attitude and orbital dynamics explains this behavior. Therefore, missions involving space tethers require a thoughtful analysis.
The use of tethers in space is promising in a number of applications. In particular, electrodynamic tethers are proposed to be used as a efficient solution for debris mitigation missions or planetary exploration. The study of electrodynamic tethers is split into a series of sections:

  • Current collection computation
  • Dynamics of dumbbell model
  • Analysis of lateral motion


Orbital Mechanics

Study, analysis and simulation of the spacecraft dynamics in perturbed systems using analytical, semi-analytical, and numerical methods.

  • Orbit mechanics about planetary satellites
  • Spacecraft dynamics in unstable orbital environments
  • Orbital motion about and on asteroids and comets, asteroid threat mitigation issues

Trajectory Optimization

Trajectory optimization constitutes one of the main concerns of mission feasibility studies and mission analysis. Depending on the propulsion system and the model employed, optimization problems can be classified into these categories:

  • Low-thrust trajectories in the restricted two body problem
  • Coasting trajectories in the circular restricted three body problem
  • Low-thrust trajectories in the circular restricted three body problem