From Discovery-class to CubeSat missions, future deep space architectures are likely to confront orbit and attitude chaotic dynamics. Chaotic patterns in spacecraft motion emerge from non-linear interactions with natural force fields in deep space and present a challenge for engineering spacecraft dynamics. However, supplied an adequate theoretical understanding and a solid numerical framework, chaotic dynamics may be harnessed to design novel and more efficient space flight solutions. In this direction, much remains to be accomplished to bridge the fundamentals of chaotic astrodynamics with the engineering practice that is required to fly a real space mission. Constructing such bridge requires a multidisciplinary approach, one that combines mathematical theories, empirical observations, numerical algorithms, optimization and control methods for chaotic space dynamics. In addition, methods that are originally derived for spacecraft applications may also be employed within the study of the dynamics of celestial bodies. 

Our research will be supported by the 3i Space Dynamics lab, which will provide state-of-the-art visualization and computation capabilities for astrodynamics. One of the major research endeavors of the 3i Space Dynamics lab is shifting the paradigm for trajectory design and spacecraft guidance within chaotic systems toward interactive approaches. The human ability to iteratively adjust design solutions or adaptively interact with dynamic environments may be vital for rapid trajectory design and autonomous spacecraft guidance. These capabilities are particularly required for deep space exploration, when multiple mission scenario uncertainties exist together with highly sensitive spacecraft dynamics. In synergy with making astrodynamics interactive, the 3i Space Dynamics lab also promotes a more intuitive access to scientific information by non-expert users and facilitate education in the field of space exploration. 

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Last Updated: 1/24/19 11:46 AM