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SLAB Research at International Conferences

By Josh Sullivan and Jan Kolmas   June 28, 2015

International Workshop on Satellite Constellations & Formation Flying 2015 at TU Delft, The Netherlands

Just one and a half years after the establishment of the Space Rendezvous Laboratory, students are presenting their work at conferences across the world.

While the topics of these conferences vary, spacecraft formation flying is a common theme throughout.  The focus of SLAB research is on the development and advancement of Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) subsystems for future distributed space systems, so these conferences provide exciting forums to present the state-of-the-art work being done in the lab.  Specifically, SLAB researcher Sumant Sharma began the summer schedule with a presentation of his work on “Comparative Assessment of Techniques for Initial Pose Estimation Using Monocular Vision,” at the 8th International Workshop on Satellite Constellations and Formation Flying held in Delft, Netherlands in June. The presented work deals with the critical task of estimating the relative pose without any a-priori information of the relative motion of two spacecraft.  Sharma appreciated the opportunity to present in front of a large audience, as well as the chance to converse and receive feedback from the experts in the field of formation flying thanks to well-timed coffee breaks and evening programs.

SLAB PhD candidates Adam Koenig and Josh Sullivan will be presenting work at the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference in Vail, Colorado in August. Koenig will be presenting on the work discussed in his paper titled “Optimal Formation Design of a Miniaturized Distributed Occulter/Telescope System,” which discusses a novel design methodology for the absolute and relative orbits of an occulter/telescope formation mission concept.  Sullivan will introduce the research contained in his paper “Observability Assessment of Angles-Only Relative Navigation Using Different State Representations,” which details a novel evaluation of the effects of relative orbit geometry, dynamics modeling, and measurement modeling on the capability of future vision-based navigation algorithms.  

Adam Koenig will also be presenting research on “A Pareto-Optimal Characterization of Small-Scale Distributed Occulter/Telescope Systems,” at the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference in San Diego, CA, taking place in August.  Ph.D. candidate Sumeet Singh will present on “High-Fidelity Modeling and Control System Synthesis for the MGRS Drag-Free Satellite,” at the 25th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics taking place in October in Munich, Germany.  

A complete list of SLAB publications can be found here.


Josh Sullivan and Jan Kolmas are graduate students in Stanford’s Space Rendezvous Lab