By Jan Kolmas December 12, 2014
Spacecraft formation flying research greatly profited from the three most recently published issues of the International Journal of Space Science and Engineering (IJSSE). These special issues of the relatively new journal focus exclusively on spacecraft formation flying.
Simone D’Amico, Principal Investigator at Stanford’s Space Rendezvous Lab played a key role in these issues. Besides helping launch the journal and acting as its Associate Editor, he was also the chairman of the Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies (SFFMT) conference organized on May 29–31, 2013 by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Munich, Germany. The best nineteen submissions were selected by the conference’s program committee and published in the special issues of the IJSSE journal.
The rich content of the conference is best described in the preface of the IJSSE special issue: “Following a well-established tradition of organization by national and international space agencies, the conference acted as a forum for global experts on technologies and systems for spacecraft formation-flying and on-orbit-servicing. Scientists and engineers from more than 22 nations and tens of institutions worldwide discussed ideas and shared experience on the most recent achievements in the area of distributed space systems. More than 14 missions were included in the scientific program, being at various points of their life cycle, from the preliminary to the detailed design, from verification to mission operations.”
Founding editor-in-Chief of the IJSSE, Prof. George Z.H. Zhu of York University in Toronto, considers articles from the conference a good fit for the relatively new journal. They justify the purpose of the journal, which is trying to establish itself as a platform devoted specifically to space science and engineering, an active field in need of more publishing space, Zhu said.
According to D’Amico and Zhu, the conference articles were so many and of such good quality that they had to be published in three consecutive issues of the journal.