School of Engineering
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Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
BioSimone D’Amico is Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Politecnico di Milano (2003) and the Ph.D. degree from Delft University of Technology (2010). From 2003 to 2014, he was research scientist and team leader at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). There, he gave key contributions to the design, development, and operations of spacecraft formation-flying and rendezvous missions such as GRACE (United States/Germany), TanDEM-X (Germany), PRISMA (Sweden/Germany/France), and PROBA-3 (ESA). From 2014 to 2020, he was Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He is the Founding director of the Space Rendezvous Laboratory (SLAB), and Satellite Advisor of the Student Space Initiative (SSSI), Stanford’s largest undergraduate organization. He has over 200 scientific publications and 3000 google scholar’s citations, including conference proceedings, peer-reviewed journal articles, and book chapters. D'Amico's research aims at enabling future miniature distributed space systems for unprecedented science and exploration. His efforts lie at the intersection of advanced astrodynamics, GN&C, and space system engineering to meet the tight requirements posed by these novel space architectures. The most recent mission concepts developed by Dr. D'Amico are a miniaturized distributed occulter/telescope (mDOT) system for direct imaging of exozodiacal dust and exoplanets and the Autonomous Nanosatellite Swarming (ANS) mission for characterization of small celestial bodies. D’Amico’s research is supported by NASA, NSF, AFRL, AFOSR, KACST, and Industry. He is Chairman of the NASA's Starshade Science and Technology Working Group (TSWG). He is member of the advisory board of space startup companies and VC edge funds. He is member of the Space-Flight Mechanics Technical Committee of the AAS, Associate Fellow of AIAA, Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics and the IEEE Transactions of Aerospace and Electronic Systems. He is Fellow of the NAE’s US FOE Symposium. Dr. D’Amico was recipient of the Leonardo 500 Award by the Leonardo Da Vinci Society and ISSNAF (2019), the Stanford’s Introductory Seminar Excellence Award (2019 and 2020), the FAI/NAA‘s Group Diploma of Honor (2018), the Exemplary System Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Award by the International Honor Society for Systems Engineering OAA (2016), the DLR’s Sabbatical/Forschungssemester in honor of scientific achievements (2012), the DLR’s Wissenschaft Preis in honor of scientific achievements (2006), and the NASA’s Group Achievement Award for the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE (2004).
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.