The Advanced Astrodynamics Concepts (AAC) research group is led by Professor James M. Longuski in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University. The research group concentrates on spacecraft and mission design concepts that may advance both robotic and human exploration of the Solar System in the next decades.
Some of the ongoing research projects include the following:
- Mission architecture to establish permanent human presence on Mars.
- Mission concepts for the exploration of small solar system bodies (minor planets, asteroids, comets, KBOs etc.).
- Rapid conceptual planetary science mission design.
- Design of planetary atmospheric probes for the exploration of the gas giant planets.
- Innovative and low-cost planetary exploration missions concepts using small satellites.
- Systems and technologies for Venus In Situ Missions.
- Development of analytical planetary entry theories for conceptual design and on-board guidance.
- Mission concept formulation for the exploration of the Ice-Giant planets, Uranus and Neptune. Includes trajectory design; entry, descent, and landing, and their interaction with science objectives.
- Design of aerogravity assist missions.
- Analytic theory of spacecraft attitude dynamics and control.
- Deep space radiation mitigation using an Ultra-Massive Mars Cycler.
Please see the dissertations and publications section to know more about the past research carried out by the group. Information for prospective students can be found here. You can explore students’ spacecraft design projects or learn elementary rocket science for beginners. There is also a page dedicated to media. Explore.
NEWS AND UPDATES
+ Dr. Buzz Aldrin visits Purdue University on April 23, 2015 for the final presentation of Project Aldrin-Purdue: As the part of Prof. James Longuski’s AAE 450 Spacecraft Design course, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ senior students evaluated the feasibility Dr. Buzz Aldrin’s Unified Space Vision “To establish and sustain a permanent human presence on Mars by 2040.” The study, named “Project Aldrin-Purdue” involved 51 students working in different discipline groups. Dr. Buzz Aldrin was visited Purdue again on April 23 for the final presentation. Dr. Aldrin interacted with the president of Purdue University, Mitch Daniels; and faculty members of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAE), Prof. Tom Shih (head of AAE), Prof. Longuski, Prof. Dumbacher, and Prof. Longuski’s research students; Sarag Saikia, and Kyle Hughes on long-term collaboration to work on strategies for the colonization of Mars.
The video representing Dr. Buzz Aldrin’s unified space vision “To establish and sustain a permanent human presence on Mars by 2040,” can be watched below:
R to L: Sarag Saikia, Prof. James Longuski, Mr. William Gerstenmaier, Peter Edelman, Frank Laipert, and Kyle Hughes, The photograph is taken in the atrium of the Neil A. Armstrong Hall of Engineering where the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics is located.
+ NASA Associate Administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD), Mr. William Gerstenmaier visited Purdue University on February 23 and 24, 2015. Purdue University’s President Mitch Daniels held an open forum with Mr. Gerstenmaier and they talked about “Pathways to Space Exploration.” The forum was to continue the discussion on the 2014 National Research Council’s (NRC) Committee on Human Spaceflight report on the subject co-chaired by President Daniels.
Mr. Gerstenmaier also met with Professor Jim Longuski’s Advanced Astrodynamics Concepts research group members and held discussions on ongoing research as well as on the future of human spaceflight. Mr. Gerstenmaier is a distinguished alum of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and he has been visiting the school on a regular basis.
AAE 450 Project Aldrin-Purdue’s Project Manager, Stephen Whitnah and Assistant Project Manager, Jani Dominguez, updated Mr. Gerstenmaier about the progress. Mr. Gerstenmaier has had been advising the Purdue team since inception.
L to R: Peter Edelman, Sarag Saikia, Prof. James Longuski, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Kyle Hughes, Andrew Aldrin, baby Logan, and Christina Korp. The photograph is taken in the atrium of the Neil A. Armstrong Hall of Engineering where the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University is located.
+ As a part of ongoing collaborations, Gemini and Apollo astronaut, Dr. Buzz Aldrin visited Purdue University from January 14–16, 2015 to interact with Prof. Longuski’s Advanced Astrodynamics Concepts research group and the students in the senior design course in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Named as “Project Aldrin-Purdue,” students in the course, under guidance, are evaluating Dr. Aldrin’s plan to establish permanent human presence on Mars by 2040. Prof. Longuski’s Advanced Astrodynamics Concepts group is honored to have Dr. Aldrin on campus. Dr. Aldrin will visit again in April 2015.
Ms. Michelle Munk, currently the principal investigator for Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Technologies within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate will be visiting Purdue University from November 19–20, 2014. Michelle will also interact with Prof. Longuski and the research group.
Ms. Munk will deliver a distinguished seminar titled, “From the Beach to Mars: One Engineer’s Journey,” at 5:30 p.m. in Armstrong Hall, Room B061. The seminar is free and open to the public.
L to R: Prof. James Longuski, Peter Edelman, Kaela Martin, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Dr. Blake Rogers, Kyle Hughes, and Sarag Saikia. On the backdrop is the Neil A. Armstrong statue infront of the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering where the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University is located.
+ Apollo astronaut, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the second person to set foot on the Moon visited the Advanced Astrodynamics Concepts research group from October 30–31, 2014. The research group and Dr. Aldrin held numerous intense and stimulating discussions on ideas of long-term and sustainable human exploration of Mars. Dr. Aldrin has been a long collaborator with Prof. James Longuski. This was Dr. Aldrin’s second visit to interact with the research group in the last one year.
+ Dr. Ralph D. Lorenz, Senior Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD, visited Purdue University from April 14 to April 15, 2014. Dr. Lorenz interacted with the research group on both the days. Dr. Lorenz delivered two interesting talks on Huygens Probe as well as on Saturn’s moon Titan.
+ Apollo astronaut, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon with the late Neil Armstrong, visited Purdue University on October 16, 2013. Buzz interacted exclusively with the research group during the day. Buzz also discussed about his new book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.” He delivered a presentation, “Buzz Aldrin’s Unified Space Vision,” at 7 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom.
+ Professor James M. Longuski’s new book titled, “Optimal Control with Aerospace applications,” has been published. The co-authors of the book are Jose J. Guzman (Ph.D., now with Orbital Sciences) and John E. Prussing (Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). The book is largely based out of the course (Optimization in Aerospace Engineering) Professor Longuski teaches at Purdue University. The book is published by Springer and the details of the book can be seen here.