AAE adds assistant professor in astrodynamics and space applications

David Arnas joined faculty Aug. 16.

AAE added an assistant professor in astrodynamics and space applications when David Arnas joined faculty Aug. 16.


Arnas started doing research in astrodynamics, satellite constellation design and applied mathematics. He focused on the combination of Number Theory — the study of the properties and relations between integer numbers — and satellite constellation design.

The goal was to provide tools and methodologies to define and study space architectures independently on the number of satellites comprising the constellation, or the orbital perturbations affecting the spacecrafts, Arnas said.

He has continued to diversify his research with work on perturbation theory, mission analysis and algorithm generation for different applications including star-trackers, database searching, or the solution of differential equations.

“Since I was a kid, my dream has always been to work in aerospace engineering and perform research in this wonderful field,” Arnas said. “However, not even when I finished my Ph.D. was I able to imagine that my path would ever lead me to work as assistant professor at Purdue University, one of the world's most prestigious research centers in astrodynamics. Now, honored with this opportunity, I am looking forward to transmitting my knowledge and experience to our future engineers and researchers in the years to come.”

Arnas will teach his AAE 203, “Aeromechanics I,” in the fall.

Prior to Purdue, Arnas was a postdoctoral associate at MIT and an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Universidad de Zaragoza in Spain.

Arnas has a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Statistics and a MS in Mathematical, Statistical and Computer Modeling from Universidad de Zaragoza. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Technical University of Madrid.