School of Engineering
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Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
BioProf. Elschot's research involves space weather detection and modeling for improved spacecraft designs, and advanced signal processing and electromagnetic wave interactions with plasma for ground-to-satellite communication systems. These topics fall under the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) umbrella that include environmental remote sensing using satellite systems and ground-based radar. Her current efforts include using dust accelerators and light-gas guns to understand the effects of hypervelocity particle impacts on spacecraft along with Particle-In-Cell simulations, and using ground-based radars to characterize the space debris and meteoroid population remotely. She also has active programs in hypersonic plasmas associated with re-entry vehicles.
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
BioDr. Ermakov's research lies at the intersection of planetary science and planetary exploration by robotic means and focuses on studying the internal structure and evolution of the Solar System bodies ranging from asteroids to gas giants. He received an Engineer Degree in Space Geodesy from the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2017. After receiving his doctorate degree, Dr. Ermakov was a post-doctoral scholar at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at the Earth and Planetary Science Department of the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2021, Dr. Ermakov has been a research scientist at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab. In his research, Dr. Ermakov combines a diverse range of spacecraft data (e.g., spacecraft radiometric tracking, stereo-imaging, magnetometry, microwave radiometry and geologic mapping) with geophysical and orbital dynamics modeling to probe the interiors and histories of Solar System bodies.
Dr. Ermakov has been a member of the NASA Dawn mission team. Dawn was the first mission to orbit two small bodies in the Solar System: asteroid Vesta and dwarf Ceres. Small bodies are a time machine that lets us explore the environment in which planets formed. Combining gravity and topography data sets is one of the most powerful tool to study deep planetary interiors from orbit. Dr. Ermakov used gravity and shape data for detailed studies of asteroid Vesta's and dwarf planet Ceres's internal structures. The Dawn data have established a framework for future geophysical investigations of water-rich worlds in the outer Solar System such as Europa and Enceladus.
Currently, Dr. Ermakov is a participating scientist in the NASA’s Juno mission. Juno is currently orbiting Jupiter and has performed several flybys of the Jovian moons. Dr. Ermakov uses the data from the Juno’s instrument suite to study the interior of Jupiter and its satellites in context of their formation and evolution models.