By Simone D'Amico November 21, 2018
The Space Rendezvous Laboratory receives the Group Diploma of Honour :"Awarded to a group that has contributed significantly to the progress of aeronautics or astronautics during the previous year or years.”
Simone D’Amico, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, along with his team at the Space Rendezvous Laboratory, recently received the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale’s (FAI) and National Aeronautic Association’s (NAA) Group Diploma of Honor. The award was established in 1965 to recognize significant contributions to the progress of aeronautics and astronautics by design offices, scientific bodies, aeronautical publications and other groups. D’Amico and his team were recognized for their significant contribution to the development and qualification of navigation systems for high-altitude aeronautics and astronautics applications. These include the flight recorders that were recently used to document the world record over 76,000 feet altitude (2.5 times Mount Everest) by the Airbus Perlan unpowered glider in September 2018.
The Space Rendezvous Laboratory (SLAB) conducts fundamental and applied research at the intersection of astrodynamics, navigation and control to enable future miniature distributed space systems. These are composed of two or more small satellites that work together to accomplish objectives otherwise impossible to achieve using a monolithic spacecraft. Some of their recent cutting-edge research projects include the miniature distributed occulter/telescope (mDOT) for direct imaging of the star vicinity, the Starling formation-flying optical experiment (StarFOX) for autonomous optical navigation in deep space, the distributed multi-GNSS timing and localization system (DiGiTaL) for precise cubesat navigation, and the Autonomous Nanosatellite Swarming using radio-frequency and optical navigation (ANS) for the simultaneous localization and mapping of asteroids.
NAA is the oldest national aviation organization in the United States and is dedicated to the art, sport and science of aviation. Professor D’Amico will receive the award on behalf of the group at the NAA Fall Awards Dinner on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.