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Astrodynamics & Space Applications

The Astrodynamics and Space Applications group conducts research spanning orbital and interplanetary trajectory design, trajectory optimization, multi-body orbital dynamics, relative motion, planetary entry, remote sensing, and spacecraft guidance, navigation and control. Astrodynamics is the analysis of the motion of natural and artificial objects in space, subject to environmental and artificial forces. Space applications broadly encompass the practical utilization of space, including development of spacecraft, instruments, and software, testing and validation of space systems, space situational awareness, space science and technology mission design, orbital infrastructure to support human exploration, and planetary defense. The discipline group also has advanced visualization and virtual reality capability that they apply to complex trajectory designs and mission applications. Experimental facilities include the Purdue Optical Ground Station, star tracker lab, radio navigation lab, flight hardware laboratory, satellite tracking station, and mission operations center, and access to airborne instrumentation and field sites for remote sensing. ASA faculty work closely with space science and applications researchers both inside and outside of Purdue.

Facilities

Rune and Barbara Eliasen Aerospace Visualization Laboratory

This team conducts research in Astrodynamics that includes investigations into both natural behavior and spacecraft motion: orbit dynamics, perturbations, and stability; trajectory control and on-orbit maneuvers; trajectory optimization and transfers; spacecraft formations; and, orbit determination and navigation.

Rune and Barbara Eliasen Aerospace Visualization Laboratory

  • Lead Professor: Kathleen Howell
  • Location: ARMS 3183
  • Large-scale flat wall visualization environment
  • Support for mission design and analysis
  • Lab Website
Radio Navigation Laboratory

The Radio Navigation Laboratory has resources for the experimental analysis and study of space-based radio transmissions for navigation and remote sensing.

Radio Navigation Laboratory

  • Lead Professor: James Garrison
  • Location: ARMS 3105
  • Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP)
  • Leica AR25 antenna
Space Flight Projects Laboratory

The Space Flight Projects Laboratory (SFPL) was founded in 2017 at Purdue University with the goal of creating a world-class research and educational organization dedicated to the design, development, and operation of advanced space systems.

Space Flight Projects Laboratory

Rapid Design of Systems Laboratory (RDSL)

The world-class research in the RDSL identifies new mission architectures and concepts to support human and robotic exploration as well as strategic systems to support national defense.

Rapid Design of Systems Laboratory (RDSL)