Manan Arya leads the Morphing Space Structures Lab. His research is on shape-changing structures, including spacecraft structures that are folded for launch and then unfolded in space, and also morphing robots. Previously, he was a technologist in the Advanced Deployable Structures Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is managed for NASA by Caltech.

Academic Appointments

Program Affiliations

  • Stanford SystemX Alliance

Professional Education

  • PhD, California Institute of Technology (2016)
  • Masters, California Institute of Technology (2012)
  • BASc in Engineering Science, University of Toronto (2011)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Manan Arya leads the Morphing Space Structures Laboratory. His research is on structures that can adapt their shape to respond to changing requirements. Examples include deployable structures for spacecraft that can stow in constrained volumes for launch and then unfold to larger sizes in space, terrestrial structures with variable geometry, and morphing robots. Key research thrusts include lightweight fiber-reinforced composite materials to enable innovative designs for flexible structures, and the algorithmic generation of the geometry of morphing structures – the arrangement of stiff and compliant elements – to enable novel folding mechanisms.

He has published more than 20 journal and conference papers and has been awarded 5 US patents. Prior to joining Stanford, he was a Technologist at the Advanced Deployable Structures Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where he developed and tested breakthrough designs for space structures, including deployable reflectarrays, starshades, and solar arrays.

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Modelling science return from the lunar crater radio telescope on the far side of the moon. Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences Pisanti, D., Goel, A., Gupta, G., Arya, M., Byron, B., Chahat, N., Lazio, J., Goldsmith, P., Bandyopadhyay, S. 2024; 382 (2271): 20230073


    The era following the separation of CMB photons from matter, until the emergence of the first stars and galaxies, is known as the Cosmic Dark Ages. Studying the electromagnetic radiation emitted by neutral hydrogen having the 21 cm rest wavelength is the only way to explore this significant phase in the Universe's history, offering opportunities to investigate essential questions about dark matter physics, the standard cosmological model and inflation. Due to cosmological redshift, this signal is now only observable at frequencies inaccessible from the Earth's surface due to ionospheric absorption and reflection. With the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT), we aim to conduct unprecedented measurements of the sky-averaged redshifted signal spectrum in the 4.7-47 MHz band, by deploying a 350 m diameter parabolic reflector mesh inside a lunar crater on the far side of the Moon and suspending a receiver at its focus. This work discusses the feasibility of the LCRT science goals through the development of a science model, with emphasis on post-processing techniques to extract the Dark Ages signal from the galactic foreground dominating the expected raw data. This model can be used to vary critical instrument and mission parameters to understand their effect on the quality of the retrieved signal. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Astronomy from the Moon: the next decades (part 2)'.

    View details for DOI 10.1098/rsta.2023.0073

    View details for PubMedID 38522463

  • Free Vibration of a Panel Supported by a Shear Compliant Two-Flexure Hinge AIAA JOURNAL Yasara Dharmadasa, B., Mejia-Ariza, J., Sauder, J., Focardi, P., Case Bradford, S., Arya, M., Lopez Jimenez, F. 2024

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.J063165

    View details for Web of Science ID 001160721200001

  • Origami-Wrapped Structures with Corrugated Unfolded Forms AIAA JOURNAL Kreider, M., Arya, M. 2024

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.J063441

    View details for Web of Science ID 001153454400001

  • NASA's starshade technology development activity Willems, P. A., Shaklan, S., Hu, R., Martin, S., Lisman, D., Ferraro, S., Stegman, M., Harness, A. D., Freebury, G., Arya, M., Coyle, L. E., Matsuura, S., Perrin, M. D. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2635326

    View details for Web of Science ID 000865466600072

  • Crease-free biaxial packaging of thick membranes with slipping folds INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES Arya, M., Lee, N., Pellegrino, S. 2017; 108: 24-39