School of Engineering


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  • Simone D'Amico

    Simone D'Amico

    Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    BioSimone D’Amico is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, California, USA. He is founder and director of the Stanford's Space Rendezvous Lab (SLAB). He is a Terman Faculty Fellow of the School of Engineering. He holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands) and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Politecnico di Milano (Italy). He has been working as researcher at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) from 2003 to 2013 in the fields of space flight dynamics, autonomous satellite navigation and control, spacecraft formation-flying, and on-orbit servicing.

    Dr. D’Amico gave key contributions to the design, development, and operations of spacecraft formation-flying and rendezvous missions such as GRACE, TanDEM-X, and PRISMA for which he received several awards. He developed the Spaceborne Autonomous Formation Flying Experiment (SAFE), the Advanced Rendezvous demonstration using GPS and Optical Navigation (ARGON) on PRISMA and the TanDEM-X Autonomous Formation Flying (TAFF) system. More recently he has been working on the design of the GPS-based navigation system for the DEOS and PROBA-3 formation-flying missions. He acted as PI of the Autonomous Vision Approach-Navigation and Target Identification (AVANTI) experiment on-board the FireBIRD mission.

    Dr. D'Amico's current research aims at enabling future distributed space systems for unprecedented science and exploration. These include spacecraft formation-flying, rendezvous and docking, swarms and fractionated spacecraft. His efforts lie at the intersection of advanced astrodynamics, GN&C, and space system engineering to fulfill the tight requirements posed by these novel space architectures. The most recent mission concept developed by Dr. D'Amico is a miniaturized distributed occulter/telescope (mDOT) system for direct imaging of exozodiacal dust and exoplanets. Dr. D'Amico is spearheading a gravitational space science and exploration program at Stanford based on multiple drag-free micro-satellites.

    He has over 100 scientific publications including conference proceedings, peer-reviewed journal articles, and book chapters. He is peer reviewer for various AIAA and IEEE journals. He has been nominated in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013 as Excellent Reviewer for the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics. He has been Programme Committee Member (2008), Co-Chair (2011), and Chair (2013) of the International Symposium on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies. He is Programme Committee Member of the International Workshop on Satellite Constellations and Formation Flying since 2013. He is Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics and the Journal of Space Science and Engineering. He is Associate Member of the Omega Alpha Association for Systems Engineering.

  • Daniel DeBra

    Daniel DeBra

    Edward C. Wells Professor of Engineering, Emeritus

    BioProfessor DeBra collaborates with Stanford physicists on three projects: Gravity Probe-B (GP-B), Space Test of the Equivalence Principle (STEP), and the vibration isolation of a gravity-wave antenna (LIGO). These involve satellite control of attitude and translation and the development of instruments of extraordinary precision and accuracy. In GP-B gyroscopes were successfully orbited in 2004. They have been compared to stars to an accuracy approaching a nanoradian. In STEP the orbital performance promises improvements of a million in testing the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass. (It is currently in a hiatus of funding.) Professor DeBra's interests in precision engineering extend to manufacturing where his students' work developing "quiet hydraulics" in the 1990s has more recently been applied to the vibration isolation of the optical systems of LIGO.

  • Louis Dressel

    Louis Dressel

    Ph.D. Student in Aeronautics and Astronautics, admitted Autumn 2014

    BioLouis Dressel is a Ph.D. candidate in the Aeronautics and Astronautics department at Stanford University. He works with the Stanford Intelligent Systems Lab to develop control schemes for active sensing tasks. He also works with the GPS Lab on a UAV that hunts GPS jammers.