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SLAB Students Contribute to Flight Missions at NASA GSFC in Summer 2021

By Adam Koenig   July 20, 2021

This summer students in the Space Rendezvous Laboratory are applying their expertise in distributed space systems to first-of-a-kind flight missions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This experience will inform SLAB’s future research objectives to better serve the needs of the space community and pave the way for new mission capabilities.

Shane Lowe is supporting the development of advanced guidance, navigation, and control algorithms for the Cal X-1 mission, which will use a pair of formation-flying spacecraft to establish an in-orbit X-ray flux standard.

Nathan Stacey is incorporating fault management in a finite state machine and developing a controller for the Autonomous Navigation, Guidance, and Control (autoNGC) flight software, which will provide autonomous capabilities for a variety of space missions.

Christine Hamilton is supporting mission architecture and systems engineering for the Orbiting Configurable Artificial Star (ORCAS) mission, which will enable near diffraction-limited imagery from ground-based telescopes in wavelengths from visible to near-infrared.

Matthew Hunter is developing computationally efficient, relative orbital element-based algorithms for trajectory monitoring and passive safety verification on the OSAM-1 (On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1) mission, which will rendezvous with, grasp, refuel, and reposition and target satellite.


Missions featuring collaboration between SLAB and NASA GSFC incluing ORCAS (top left), autoNGC (top right), OSAM-1 (bottom left), and Cal X-1 (bottom right).

Adam Koenig is a Postdoctoral Scholar at SLAB