Camilla Colombo

Camilla Colombo
Politecnico di Milano | Polimi · Department of Aerospace Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering

About

294
Publications
47,787
Reads
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1,960
Citations
Citations since 2016
202 Research Items
1446 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - present
Politecnico di Milano
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
March 2016 - July 2016
University of Southampton
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
June 2013 - May 2015
Politecnico di Milano
Position
  • Marie Curie Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (294)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper investigates the long-term evolution of spacecraft in Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEOs). The single averaged disturbing potential due to luni-solar perturbations and zonal harmonics of the Earth gravity field is written. The double averaged potential is also derived in the Earth-centered equatorial system. Maps of long-term evolution are c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Small fragments are rarely included in the evolution of the debris population as their number is so large that the computational time would become prohibitive. However, they also can be dangerous to operational satellites, so it is important to study their contribution to the collision probability. This work proposes an analytical method to propaga...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article presents the design of the end-of-life disposal of spacecraft in Highly Elliptical Orbits through Earth re-entry. The effect of luni-solar perturbations can be enhanced through impulsive maneuvers to move the spacecraft on a trajectory that will naturally evolve in the long-term towards Earth re-entry. The dynamics is propagated throug...
Article
This paper investigates the effect of planetary oblateness and solar radiation pressure on the orbits of high area-to-mass spacecraft. A planar Hamiltonian model shows the existence of equilibrium orbits with the orbit apogee pointing towards or away from the Sun. These solutions are numerically continued to non-zero inclinations and considering th...
Article
Full-text available
Exploration missions to other planets have to satisfy planetary protection requirements to limit the probability of impacts between mission-related objects and celestial bodies, with the goal of reducing the risk of contaminating them with biological material coming from Earth. The verification of these requirements can become a lengthy and computa...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an improved methodology for long-term uncertainty propagation in nonlinear dynamics by combining techniques of initial multi-directional splitting and adaptive entropy-based splitting during the propagation within the Gaussian mixture model framework. An initial multi-directional splitting technique applied to the directions par...
Presentation
Full-text available
This work presents a new mission concept for sample collection missions around asteroids. Starting from the heritage of mission Hayabusa2, a kinetic impactor is used to generate fragments, which are then collected in orbit. The work discusses the feasibility of the mission, possible collection strategies, and the preliminary concepts of operations.
Presentation
Full-text available
This work presents the Starling2.0 debris evolutionary model, a fully probabilistic tool which aims to predict the future evolution of the space debris environment. The background debris population is mapped into a phase space density function and propagated according to the continuity equation. The probability of collision with uncontrolled orbiti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper proposes a continuity equation-based debris’ evolutionary model for the long-term propagation of fragments’ clouds under atmospheric drag, J2 perturbation, solar radiation pressure and third-body perturbation. In particular, it focuses on enhancing the computational efficiency of the dynamical model. This purpose is achieved by cutting...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper describes the design and modelling of an on-orbit mission experiment for testing a novel engine technology in Space. The goal is to assess the novel engine thrust profile through an on-orbit reverse engineering approach. The simulation tool developed at Politecnico di Milano is initially designed to propagate the free attitude dynamics of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work presents a sensitivity analysis of ejecta models used to model impact events onto small bodies in the Solar System. The application in exam is focused on kinetic impacts on Near Earth Asteroids to study the possibility of collecting the generated fragments in orbit, thus avoiding landing or touchdown operations. The sensitivity analysis s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The population of objects in space has increased dramatically over recent decades. Space debris now represents the majority of objects in space resulting from inactive satellites, breakups, collisions and fragmentations. It has become a concern for institutions all over the world and, as such, it has led to the fostering of several programmes to co...
Preprint
Full-text available
The orbital propagation of large sets of initial conditions under high accuracy requirements is currently a bottleneck in the development of space missions, e.g. for planetary protection compliance analyses. The proposed approach can include any force source in the dynamical model through efficient Picard-Chebyshev (PC) numerical simulations. A two...
Article
Formation flying missions have increased their importance thanks to the better performances that can be achieved with a distributed system of satellites. One of the most demanding challenges linked to the formation flying missions is the formulation of a robust control plan. Due to the recent developments in electrical propulsion, controllers that...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of future L-band missions, the need to improve the spatial resolution with respect to the ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission should be addressed for future follow-on studies with a range of applications over land and oceans. Since November 2009, SMOS has been producing global maps of soil moisture and sea surface s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years low-thrust propulsion has become a credible alternative to standard chemical propulsion for many different applications, ranging from orbital transfers to maintenance of small satellites in LEO. Despite the extensive effort that has been put into development of guidance algorithms for low-thrust systems, only few works have consider...
Presentation
Full-text available
This work presents a methodology for the computation of particle fluxes around asteroids as they are generated by a kinetic impact on the asteroid surfaces. The methodology combines the dynamical propagation of small fragments in a perturbed environment with the modelling of impact crater phenomena. The particle fluxes allow the estimation of the n...
Preprint
Full-text available
A popular intermediary in the theory of artificial satellites is obtained after the elimination of parallactic terms from the J2-problem Hamiltonian. The resulting quasi-Keplerian system is in turn converted into the Kepler problem by a torsion. When this reduction process is applied to unbounded orbits the solution is made of Keplerian hyperbolae....
Preprint
Like any industry, space activities generate pressures on the environment and strives towards more sustainable activities. A consensus among the European industrial stakeholders and national agencies in the Space sector is emerging on the need to address eco-design through the prism of the environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. Whil...
Article
At a time when space debris are already a growing issue in the space sector, the deployment of large constellations, made of hundreds to thousands of satellites, is of concern from an environmental point of view. In the next decade, the space sector will undergo a considerable change as the population of active satellites is about to quintuple. Thi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The detection of flybys in the numerical propagation of interplanetary trajectories is a key aspect to enable planetary protection analyses. Their much faster dynamics, compared to the pure heliocentric motion, hinders the development of advanced orbital integrators: regularisation-based approaches and variation of parameters implementations are ex...
Article
Full-text available
This paper compares the continuum evolution for density equation modelling and the Gaussian mixture model on the 2D phase space long-term density propagation problem in the context of high-altitude and high area-to-mass ratio satellite long-term propagation. The density evolution equation, a pure numerical and pointwise method for the density propa...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents an analytical model for collision probability assessments between de-orbiting or injecting space objects and satellite constellations. Considering the first to be subjected to a continuous tangential acceleration, its spiraling motion would result in a series of close approaches in the proximity of a constellation. The proposed...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper compares the continuum evolution for density equation modelling and the Gaussian mixture model on the 2D phase space long-term density propagation problem in the context of high-altitude and high area-to-mass ratio satellite long-term propagation. The density evolution equation, a pure numerical and pointwise method for the density propa...
Article
Full-text available
Orbital resonances can be leveraged in the mission design phase to target planets at different energy levels. On the other side, precise models are needed to predict possible threatening returns of natural and artificial objects closely approaching a target planet. To this aim, we propose a semi-analytic extension of the b-plane resonance model to...
Article
Full-text available
Planetary protection in trajectory design aims to assess the impact probability of space-mission-disposed objects based on their initial uncertain conditions, to avoid contaminating other planetary environments. High-precision dynamic models and propagation methods are required to reach high confidence levels on small estimated impact probabilities...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates two strategies that exploit low-thrust propulsion and natural effects for the complete de-orbiting of spacecraft from a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The first strategy aims to actively lower the perigee altitude by low-thrust propulsion to achieve passive drag-induced re-entry. The second strategy aims to actively move the spacecr...
Preprint
Full-text available
In recent years, due to the constant increase of the density of satellites in the space environment, several studies have been focused on the development of active and passive strategies to remove and mitigate space debris. This work investigates the feasibility of developing a reliable and fast approach to analyze the re-entry of a satellite. The...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a strategy for optimal manoeuvre design of multi-satellite formation flying in low Earth orbit environment, with the aim of providing a tool for mission operation design. The proposed methodology for formation flying manoeuvres foresees a continuous low-thrust control profile, to enable the operational phases. The design is perf...
Article
Full-text available
Orbital resonances have been exploited in different contexts, with the latest interplanetary application being the ESA/NASA mission Solar Orbiter, which uses repeated flybys of Venus to change the ecliptic inclination with low fuel consumption. The b-plane formalism is a useful framework to represent close approaches at the boundaries of the sphere...
Article
In recent years, due to the constant increase of the density of satellites in the space environment, several studies have been focused on the development of active and passive strategies to remove and mitigate space debris. This work investigates the feasibility of developing a reliable and fast approach to analyze the re-entry of a satellite. The...
Preprint
Full-text available
Orbital resonances can be leveraged in the mission design phase to target planets at different energy levels. On the other side, precise models are needed to predict possible threatening returns of natural and artificial objects closely approaching a target planet. To this aim, we propose a semi-analytic extension of the b-plane resonance model to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Orbital resonances have been exploited in different contexts, with the latest interplanetary application being the ESA/NASA mission Solar Orbiter, which uses repeated flybys of Venus to change the ecliptic inclination with low fuel consumption. The b-plane formalism is a useful framework to represent close approaches at the boundaries of the sphere...
Preprint
Full-text available
Planetary protection in trajectory design aims to assess the impact probability of space mission disposed objects based on their initial uncertain conditions, to avoid contaminating other planetary environments. High precision dynamical models and propagation methods are required to reach high confidence levels on small estimated impact probabiliti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-1275.vid The computational intensity of the trajectory design problem severely affects the development time of any space mission, both in its preliminary phase and in the consequent optimization. This paper presents a formulation of the design problem that can account for any force source in t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-2463.vid This paper presents the simulation results for the reconfiguration and maintenance of a novel three-satellites formation flying mission study. The analyses are based on a decentralized approach for the guidance, navigation, and control, to provide autonomous management of the formatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work presents the development of a statistical ejecta model to predict the ejecta characteristics due to the impact of a small kinetic impactor onto asteroids surfaces. The distribution of the ejecta in terms of particle size, ejection velocity, and ejection direction is obtained. The procedure followed to compute the parameters defining the s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It is estimated that almost one million debris greater than 1 cm currently orbit the Earth, posing hazard to operational satellites. Therefore, the traditional piece-by-piece approach, to monitor the evolution of such small space debris, is computationally prohibitive. This problem is here addressed through an analogy with fluid dynamics, consideri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The continuous evolution of low-thrust propulsion technologies, both in performance and the range of platforms that can equip them, provides increasing advantages in propellant efficiency and enables new kinds of missions. However, their smaller control authority compared to impulsive thrusters makes it more challenging to react to unforeseen situa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Large constellations' deployment in low Earth orbit will drastically change the space environment and economy in the upcoming decades. The sustainability of the orbital environment in the long term needs to be accounted when implementing the large constellations projects. In fact, failures among the large constellations' assets can critically endan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper introduces an accurate model to monitor the motion of a particle of negligible mass under the simultaneous gravitational attraction of many celestial bodies, in the restricted three-body problem dynamical regime. It relies on the Lagrange planetary equations and applies the perturbation approach to the three-body potential. This approach...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The ability of space activities to benefit Earth and its people is now threatened by the increasing density of objects in orbit. If no mitigation measures are taken, the population could reach a level in the future at which collisions would continue to increase the number of debris in orbit, even without new launches. Addressing the need for space...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work explores the possibility of performing in-orbit particle collection for sampling and exploration missions towards asteroids. Ejecta is generated via a small kinetic impactor and two possible collection strategies are investigated: collecting the particle at the L 2 Lagrangian point or collecting them while they orbit the asteroid and befo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The recent years have seen a fast increase in space traffic as humanity relies ever more on satellite-based services. Despite the adoption of regulations for space debris mitigation, the already large population of objects orbiting the Earth is destined to grow. With it, the chance of accidents involving any of those objects grows as well, threaten...
Conference Paper
The potentialities of In-Orbit Servicing (IOS) to extend the operational life of satellites and the need to implement Active Debris Removal (ADR) to effectively tackle the space debris problem are well known among the space community. Research on technical solutions to enable this class of missions is thriving, also pushed by the development of new...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
To ensure future space development and sustainable orbital exploitation, it is essential to improve the knowledge of the space environment and of the phenomena that could influence spacecraft's operations. Space debris could pose a threat to space operations, and a collision with such an object could degrade the mission performance. Space debris' e...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The safety concept is of paramount importance in the trajectory design of formation flying missions. The selection of natural collision-free trajectories is based on the analysis of natural relative motion among the satellites. This is beneficial for the mission both in terms of propellant consumption and control effort, allowing a naturally safe e...
Conference Paper
This work investigates the feasibility of developing a reliable and fast approach to predict and analyse the re-entry of satellites in highly elliptical orbits. We develop an interface between the long-term orbit propagation obtained through semi-analytical methods with the atmospheric destructive re-entry phase exploiting the concept of overshoot...
Preprint
Full-text available
The paper presents a re-entry analysis of Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO) satellites on disposal trajectories that enhance the effects of the Earth oblateness and lunisolar perturbations. These types of trajectories can lead to a natural re-entry of the spacecraft within 20 years. An analysis was performed to characterise the entry conditions for these...
Article
The paper presents a re-entry analysis of Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO) satellites on disposal trajectories that enhance the effects of the Earth oblateness and lunisolar perturbations. These types of trajectories can lead to a natural re-entry of the spacecraft within 20 years. An analysis was performed to characterise the entry conditions for these...
Article
This paper presents a strategy for optimal manoeuvre design of multi-satellite formation flying in low Earth orbit environment, with the aim of providing a tool for mission operation design. The proposed methodology for formation flying manoeuvres foresees a continuous low-thrust control profile, to enable the operational phases. The design is perf...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An analytical model for collision probability assessments between de-orbiting or injecting space objects and satellite constellations is presented in this study. Considering the first to be subjected to a tangential acceleration, its spiral motion would result in a series of close approaches in the proximity of a constellation; in this work, a mode...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The implementation of resonant gravity assist maneuvers is an essential prerequisite for interplanetary missions requiring complex trajectory solutions. A convenient formalism to design resonant trajectories is the b-plane, as post-encounter orbits with prescribed semi-major axis can be easily mapped on this plane and thus targeted a priori. This r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of future asteroid exploration missions, within the MSCA CRADLE project in collaboration between Politecnico di Milano and JAXA, we envision the possibility to perform in-orbit collection. In this work, the dynamical behaviour of ejecta following the impact of a small kinetic impactor is analysed in the context of the circular restri...
Article
Full-text available
No general rules exist for constellation design; instead, constellation designers have to consider various cost drivers in a trade-off way. This paper presents a systematic method for the design of continuous global coverage Walker and Street-of-Coverage constellations, by taking seven critical constellation properties (coverage, robustness, self-i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Planetary protection in trajectory design aims to assess the impact probability of space mission disposed objects based on their initial uncertain condition, to avoid contaminating other planetary environments. High precision dynamical models and propagation methods are required to reach high confidence levels on small estimated impact probabilitie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The flourishing of the new space economy, characterized by new mission types, capabilities, space-based services, and players, is increasing congestion in space, particularly in low Earth orbit. To deal with the growing amount of data and potentially dangerous close approaches, as well as to enable new autonomous capabilities, lightweight and accur...
Article
Full-text available
This work presents a precise analytical model to reconstruct the line-of-sight vector to a target satellite over time, as required by angles-only relative navigation systems for application to rendezvous missions. The model includes the effects of the geopotential, featuring: the analytical propagation in the mean relative orbital elements (up to s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As in-orbit breakup events become more frequent and more difficult to predict and avoid, the risk of collisions of debris with active satellites grows each year, threatening the safety of space operations. By constantly monitoring known and new objects, it is possible to verify whether they were created in a fragmentation. The PUZZLE software packa...