Bio


Simone 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.

Academic Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Honors & Awards


  • NASA Group Achievement Award for the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (04/01/2004)
  • DLR's Wissenschaft Preis 2006 (Science Award), German Aerospace Center (11/01/2006)
  • Excellent Reviewer for the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (10/01/2007 - 09/01/2008)
  • First Class Award of the IAF 5th International Workshop on Constellations and Formation Flying, International Astronautical Federation (07/01/2008)
  • Associate Member of the System Engineering Honor Society, Omega Alpha Association (12/01/2010)
  • DLR's Besondere Auszeichnung 2010 for the TanDEM-X Project Team, German Aerospace Center (03/01/2011)
  • Excellent Reviewer for the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (10/01/2011 - 09/01/2012)
  • DLR's Award for PRISMA Science Team, German Aerospace Center (12/01/2011)
  • DLR's Forschungssemester (Sabbatical), German Aerospace Center (09/01/2012 - 12/01/2012)
  • Excellent Reviewer for the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (10/01/2012 - 09/01/2013)
  • Terman Faculty Fellowship, Stanford School of Engineering (12/01/2013 - 11/30/2016)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • International Program Committee Member, International Workshop on Satellite Constellations and Formation Flying (IWSCFF) (2013 - Present)
  • Chairman and Organizer, 5th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies (SFFMT) (2011 - 2013)
  • Program Committee Member, International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies (SFFMT) (2008 - Present)
  • Co-Chair, International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies (SFFMT) (2008 - Present)

Professional Education


  • PhD, Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands), Aerospace Engineering (2010)
  • BS and MS, Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Aerospace Engineering (2003)

Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Impulsive Maneuvers for Formation Reconfiguration Using Relative Orbital Elements JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE CONTROL AND DYNAMICS Gaias, G., D'Amico, S. 2015; 38 (6): 1036-1049

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.G000189

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354615900005

  • Angles-Only Navigation to a Noncooperative Satellite Using Relative Orbital Elements AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference Gaias, G., D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J. AMER INST AERONAUTICS ASTRONAUTICS. 2014: 439–51

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.61494

    View details for Web of Science ID 000336772900008

  • Noncooperative Rendezvous Using Angles-Only Optical Navigation: System Design and Flight Results JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE CONTROL AND DYNAMICS D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., Gaias, G., BENNINGHOFF, H., Schlepp, B., JORGENSEN, J. L. 2013; 36 (6): 1576-1595

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.59236

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331369400002

  • GPS-based relative navigation for the Proba-3 formation flying mission ACTA ASTRONAUTICA Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Cropp, A. 2013; 91: 341-355
  • Flight Results of Precise Autonomous Orbit Keeping Experiment on PRISMA Mission 22nd AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting De Florio, S., D'Amico, S., Radice, G. AMER INST AERONAUTICS ASTRONAUTICS. 2013: 662–74

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.A32347

    View details for Web of Science ID 000320091200016

  • Autonomous formation flying based on GPS - PRISMA flight results 6th International Workshop on Satellite Constellation and Formation Flying (IWSCFF) D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., De Florio, S. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD. 2013: 69–79
  • Noncooperative Rendezvous using Angles-only Optical Navigation: System Design and Flight Results Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., Gaias, G., Benninghoff, H., Schlepp, B., Joergensen, J. L. 2013; 36 (6): 1576-1595

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.59236

  • FFRF and GPS sensor fusion for relative navigation of formation flying satellites 5th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies Allende, G., D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O., Hugentobler, U., Delpech, M. 2013
  • Generalized Multi-Impulsive Maneuvers for Optimum Spacecraft Rendezvous 5th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies Gaias, G., D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J. 2013
  • Pose Estimation of an Uncooperative Spacecraft from Actual Space Imagery 5th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies D'Amico, S., Benn, M., Joergensen, J. L. 2013
  • Combined Autonomous Absolute and Relative Orbit Control in Low Earth Orbit 5th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies De Florio, S., D'Amico, S., Radice, G. 2013
  • PRISMA Distributed Space Missions for Earth System Monitoring D'Amico, S., Bodin, P., Delpech, M., Noteborn, R. Springer Space Technology Library. 2013: 599–637
  • GPS Based Relative Navigation Distributed Space Missions for Earth System Monitoring Montenbruck, O., D'Amico, S. Springer Space Technology Library. 2013: 185–223
  • Spaceborne Autonomous Formation-Flying Experiment on the PRISMA Mission AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., Larsson, R. AMER INST AERONAUTICS ASTRONAUTICS. 2012: 834–50

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.55638

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303904600013

  • Navigation and Control of the PRISMA Formation: In-Orbit Experience Journal of Mechanics Engineering and Automation D'Amico, S., Larsson, R. 2012; 2 (5): 312-320
  • GPS-Based Relative Navigation for the PROBA-3 Formation Flying Mission 63rd International Astronautical Congress Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Cropp, A. 2012
  • FLIGHT RESULTS OF THE PRECISE AUTONOMOUS ORBIT KEEPING EXPERIMENT ON THE PRISMA MISSION 22nd AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting De Florio, S., D'Amico, S., Radice, G. UNIVELT INC. 2012: 1103–1122
  • Precise Autonomous Orbit Control in Low Earth Orbit AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference De Florio, S., D'Amico, S., Radice, G. 2012
  • THE PRISMA FORMATION FLYING DEMONSTRATOR: OVERVIEW AND CONCLUSIONS FROM THE NOMINAL MISSION 35th Annual AAS Rocky Mountain Section Guidance and Control Conference Bodin, P., Noteborn, R., Larsson, R., Karlsson, T., D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J. S., Delpech, M., Berges, J. UNIVELT INC. 2012: 441–460
  • Angles-only Navigation to a Non-Cooperative Satellite using Relative Orbital Elements AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference Gaias, G., D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J. 2012
  • Final Commissioning of the PRISMA GPS Navigation System Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Sciences and Applications Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O. 2012; 4 (3): 104-118
  • Flight Demonstration of Non-Cooperative Rendezvous using Optical Navigation 23rd International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., Gaias, G., Schlepp, B., Benninghoff, H., Tzschichholz, T., Karlsson, T., Joergensen, J. L. 2012
  • Final Commissioning of the PRISMA GPS Navigation System 22nd International Symposium on Spaceflight Dynamics Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O. 2011
  • Proximity Operations of On-Orbit Servicing Spacecraft using an Eccentricity/Inclination Vector Separation 22nd International Symposium on Spaceflight Dynamics Spurmann, J., D'Amico, S. 2011
  • GPS Navigation Based Proximity Operations by the PRISMA Satellites - Flight Results 4th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies Larsson, R., D'Amico, S., Noteborn, R., Bodin, P. 2011
  • Navigation and Control of the PRISMA Formation: In-Orbit Experience 18th IFAC World Congress D'Amico, S., Larsson, R. 2011
  • Formation Flying Testbed at DLR's German Space Operations Center 8th International ESA Conference on Guidance, Navigation & Control Systems Gaias, G., Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S. 2011
  • In-Flight Demonstration of Formation Control based on Relative Orbital Elements 4th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., Larsson, R. 2011
  • Operation Concept of the Precise Autonomous Orbit Keeping Experiment on the PRISMA Mission 8th IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation De Florio, S., D'Amico, S., Radice, G. 2011
  • Spaceborne Autonomous Formation Flying Experiment on the PRISMA Mission AIAA Guidance, Navigation & Control Conference D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., Larsson, R. 2011
  • Early Flight Results from the TanDEM-X Autonomous Formation Flying System 4th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Fischer, D. 2011
  • Autonomous Formation Flying in LEO - Seven months of routine formation flying with frequent reconfigurations 4th International Conference on Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions and Technologies Larsson, R., Noteborn, R., Bodin, P., D'Amico, S., Karlsson, T., Carlsson, A. 2011
  • Relative Control of a Virtual Telescope Using Global Positioning System and Optical Metrology JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE CONTROL AND DYNAMICS Perea, L., Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Elosegui, P. 2010; 33 (4): 1281-1287

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.48287

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279889400023

  • PRISMA - Formation Flying Project Close to Launch Small Satellites Systems and Services - The 4S Symposium Persson, S., Harr, J., D'Amico, S., Joergensen, J. L. 2010
  • Flight Results from the PRISMA GPS-Based Navigation 5th ESA Workshop on Satellite Navigation Technologies, NAVITEC'2010 Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O. 2010
  • Autonomous Navigation and Control of Formation Flying Spacecraft on the PRISMA Mission 61st International Astronautical Congress De Florio, S., D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J. 2010
  • Hardware-in-the-loop Multi-satellite Simulator for Proximity Operations 11th Int. WS on Simulation & EGSE facilities for Space Programmes; SESP 2010 Gaias, G., D'Amico, S., Boge, T. 2010
  • Flight Results from PRISMA Formation Flying and Rendezvous Demonstration Mission 61st International Astronautical Congress Persson, S., D'Amico, S., Harr, J. 2010
  • Autonomous Formation Flying Based on GPS - PRISMA Flight Results 6th International Workshop on Satellite Constellation and Formation Flying D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., De Florio, S. 2010
  • GPS-Based Spaceborne Autonomous Formation Flying Experiment (SAFE) on PRISMA: Initial Commissioning AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., De Florio, S., Montenbruck, O., Persson, S., Noteborn, R. 2010
  • Functional and Performance Validation of the PRISMA Precise Orbit Determination Facility 2010 International Technical Meeting of the Institute-of-Navigation Ardaens, J., Montenbruck, O., D'Amico, S. INST NAVIGATION. 2010: 490–500
  • Differential GPS: An Enabling Technology for Formation Flying Satellites 7th IAA International Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O. SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN. 2010: 457–465
  • Spaceborne Autonomous Relative Control System for Dual Satellite Formations JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE CONTROL AND DYNAMICS Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S. 2009; 32 (6): 1859-1870

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.42855

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272366900014

  • Navigation of Formation Flying Spacecraft using GPS: the PRISMA Technology Demonstration 22nd International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of the Institute-of-Navigation (ION GNSS-09) D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., Montenbruck, O. INST NAVIGATION. 2009: 1427–1441
  • Differential GPS: An Enabling Technology for Formation Flying Satellites 7th IAA Symposium on Small Satellite for Earth Observation D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O. 2009
  • PRISMA Relative Orbit Determination using GPS Measurements 21st International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics Delong, N., Laurichesse, D., Harr, J., D'Amico, S. 2009
  • OPTIMAL AUTONOMOUS ORBIT CONTROL OF REMOTE SENSING SPACECRAFT AAS/AIAA 19th Space Flight Mechanics Meeting De Florio, S., D'Amico, S. UNIVELT INC. 2009: 949–967
  • Autonomous Formation Keeping and Reconfiguration for Remote Sensing Spacecraft 21st International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics D'Amico, S., De Florio, S., Larsson, R., Nylund, M. 2009
  • Relative Orbit Control of a Virtual Telescope in an Eccentric Orbit 21st International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics Perea, L., D'Amico, S., Elosegui, P. 2009
  • The Precise Autonomous Orbit Keeping Experiment on the PRISMA Mission JOURNAL OF THE ASTRONAUTICAL SCIENCES De Florio, S., D'Amico, S. 2008; 56 (4): 477-494
  • Navigation and Control of the TanDEM-X Formation Symposium Honoring Byron Tapley's 50 Years of Contributions Montenbruck, O., Kahle, R., D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J. AMER ASTRONAUTICAL SOC. 2008: 341–57
  • Offline and Hardware-in-the-loop Validation of the GPS-based Real-Time Navigation System for the PRISMA Formation Flying Mission 3rd International Symposium on Formation Flying, Missions and Technology D'Amico, S., De Florio, S., Ardaens, J., Yamamoto, T. 2008
  • GPS-Based Relative Navigation during the Separation Sequence of the PRISMA Mission AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O., Larsson, R., Chasset, C. 2008
  • Autonomous Formation Flying - TanDEM-X, PRISMA and Beyond 5th International Workshop on Satellite Constellations and Formation Flying D'Amico, S., Ardaens, J., De Florio, S., Montenbruck, O. 2008
  • TanDEM-X Autonomous Formation Flying System 3rd International Symposium on Formation Flying, Missions and Technology Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Ulrich, D., Fischer, D. 2008
  • The precise autonomous orbit keeping experiment on the prisma formation flying mission AAS/AIAA 18th Space Flight Mechanics Meeting De Florio, S., D'Amico, S., Fernandez, M. G. UNIVELT INC. 2008: 1679–1694
  • Cross-Validation of GPS and FFRF-Based Relative Navigation for the PRISMA Mission 4th ESA Workshop on Satelliate Navigation User Equipment Technology, NAVITEC'2008 Montenbruck, O., Delpech, M., Ardaens, J., Delong, N., D'Amico, S., Harr, J. 2008
  • Hardware-in-the-loop Demonstration of GPS-Based Autonomous Formation Flying 4th ESA Workshop on Satellite Navigation User Equipment Technology, NAVITEC'2008 Yamamoto, T., D'Amico, S. 2008
  • Autonomous formation flying for the PRISMA mission AAS/AIAA 16th Space Flight Mechanics Meeting Gill, E., D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O. AMER INST AERONAUT ASTRONAUT. 2007: 671–81

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.23015

    View details for Web of Science ID 000247262000019

  • First In-orbit Experience of TerraSAR-X Flight Dynamics Operations 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics Kahle, R., Kazeminejad, B., Kirschner, M., Yoon, Y., Kiehling, R., D'Amico, S. 2007
  • Spaceborne Autonomous and Ground Based Relative Orbit Control for the TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Formation 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics Ardaens, J., D'Amico, S., Kazeminejad, B., Montenbruck, O., Gill, E. 2007
  • Autonomous Formation Flying at DLR's German Space Operations Center (GSOC) 58th International Astronautical Congress Rupp, T., D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O., Gill, E. 2007
  • E/I-vector separation for safe switching of the GRACE formation AEROSPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Montenbruck, O., Kirschner, M., D'Amico, S., Bettadpur, S. 2006; 10 (7): 628-635
  • Proximity operations of formation-flying spacecraft using an eccentricity/inclination vector separation JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE CONTROL AND DYNAMICS D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O. 2006; 29 (3): 554-563
  • Interferometric baseline performance estimations for multistatic synthetic aperture radar configurations derived from GRACE GPS observations JOURNAL OF GEODESY Kohlhase, A. O., Kroes, R., D'Amico, S. 2006; 80 (1): 28-39
  • Evaluating interferometric baseline performance in a close formation flight by using relative GRACE GPS navigation solutions 19th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics Kohlhase, A., Kroes, R., D'Amico, S. 2006
  • GPS-Based Real-Time Navigation for the PRISMA Formation Flying Mission 3rd ESA Workshop on Satellite Navigation User Equipment Technology, NAVITEC'2006 D'Amico, S., Gill, E., Fernandez, M., Montenbruck, O. 2006
  • The TanDEM-X Mission Design and Data Acquisition Plan 6th European Conference on Synthectic Aperture Radar Fiedler, H., Krieger, G., Werner, M., Reiniger, K., Eineder, M., D'Amico, S., Diedrich, E., Wickler, M. 2006
  • Autonomous satellite formation flying for the PRISMA technology demonstration mission AAS/AIAA 16th Space Flight Mechanics Meeting Gill, E., Montenbruck, O., D'Amico, S., Persson, S. UNIVELT INC. 2006: 331–342
  • Next Generation GNSS for Navigation of Future SAR Constellations 57th International Astronautical Congress Enderle, W., Fiedler, H., De Florio, S., Krieger, G., Jochim, F., D'Amico, S., Dawson, S., Kellar, W. 2006
  • Relative Orbit Control Design for the PRISMA Formation Flying Mission AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference D'Amico, S., Gill, E., Montenbruck, O. 2006
  • Formation flying concept for close remote sensing satellites AAS/AIAA 15th Space Flight Mechanics Meeting D'Amico, S., Montenbruck, O., Arbinger, C., Fiedler, H. UNIVELT INC. 2005: 831–848
  • Impact of orbit prediction accuracy on low earth remote sensing flight dynamics operations 18th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics Arbinger, C., D'Amico, S. ESA PUBLICATIONS DIVISION C/O ESTEC. 2004: 73–78
  • Generation of an optimum target trajectory for the TerraSAR-X repeat observation satellite 18th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics D'Amico, S., Arbinger, C., Kirschner, M., Campagnola, S. ESA PUBLICATIONS DIVISION C/O ESTEC. 2004: 137–142
  • Precise ground-in-the-loop orbit control for low earth observation satellites 18th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics Arbinger, C., D'Amico, S., Eineder, M. ESA PUBLICATIONS DIVISION C/O ESTEC. 2004: 333–338
  • The GRACE Formation: Science Mode Pointing Performance Analysis 3rd International Workshop on Satellite Constellations and Formations Arbinger, C., D'Amico, S., Feucht, U., Finzi, A. 2003