Michelle Lavagna

Michelle Lavagna
Politecnico di Milano | Polimi · Department of Aerospace Science & Technology

PhD

About

118
Publications
20,714
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595
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
January 1997 - May 2017
Politecnico di Milano
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (118)
Article
Full-text available
The exploration of celestial bodies such as the Moon, Mars, or even smaller ones such as comets and asteroids, is the next frontier of space exploration. One of the most interesting and attractive purposes from the scientific point of view in this field, is the capability for a spacecraft to land on such bodies. Monocular cameras are widely adopted...
Data
This study focuses on the gravity tractor technique, with the objective of demonstrating and assessing its capability to deflect an asteroid from a potentially hazardous orbit. For demonstration purposes, the technique is applied to a binary asteroid system, with the aim of assessing its effectiveness when scaled to an eventual Earth-asteroid syste...
Data
The document presents a preliminary version of the Gravity Tractor Mission requirements, without going into any specific design.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A new tool capable of rendering high-quality spaceborne synthetic images via ray-tracing is here presented. The assumptions and simplifications used to model both the spacecraft and the background objects are reported, and the trade-off between accuracy and rendering time is discussed, leading to the default settings of the tool. The optical proper...
Conference Paper
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This paper focuses on the implementation of a fixed planar fins model in a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) re-entry dynamics simulator with closed-loop guidance and control integration. The vehicle first-stage booster studied, evolving in the terrestrial atmosphere, is steered by a thrust vector control system correcting the trajectory deviations fro...
Conference Paper
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State-of-the-art relative navigation techniques for spacecraft proximity operations rely on images acquired in the visible spectral band. Consequently, the navigation solution accuracy and robustness are largely influenced by the illumination conditions. This paper proposes to supplement visible images with thermal infrared ones to improve relative...
Data
The "Tango Spacecraft Wireframe Dataset Model for Line Segments Detection" dataset here published should be used for line detection and segmentation tasks. It is split into 30002 train images and 3002 test images representing the Tango spacecraft from Prisma mission, being the only publicly available dataset of synthetic space-borne images tailored...
Data
The "Tango Spacecraft Dataset for Region of Interest Estimation and Semantic Segmentation" dataset here published should be used for Region of Interest (ROI) and/or semantic segmentation tasks. It is split into 30002 train images and 3002 test images representing the Tango spacecraft from Prisma mission, being the largest publicly available dataset...
Data
The "Tango Spacecraft Dataset for Monocular Pose Estimation" dataset here published should be used for relative pose estimation tasks. It is split into 30002 train images and 3002 test images representing the Tango spacecraft from Prisma mission, being the largest publicly available dataset of synthetic space-borne noise-free images tailored to pos...
Article
Full-text available
Small satellite platforms are experiencing increasing interest from the space community, because of the reduced cost and the performance available with current technologies. In particular, the hardware composing the attitude and orbit control system (AOCS) has reached a strong maturity level, and the dimensions of the components allow redundant set...
Conference Paper
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Asteroid Redirection with Gravity tractoring and Observation (ARGO) is a preliminary mission design in the framework of the planetary protection topics; the 162000 (1990 OS) binary Near-Earth Asteroid system is selected as well-suited training environment to assess the gravity tractor (GT) technique effectiveness for potential Earth impact hazard m...
Conference Paper
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In the next decade, the exploitation of the Cislunar environment for both manned and unmanned missions will open the space frontier for human exploration of the Moon, Mars and asteroids. The Lunar Gateway (LOP-G) has been proposed as a potential hub for excursions to Mars and activities in support of exploration and planetary defence. Within this c...
Conference Paper
The paper discusses the problem of modelling the 6-DoF atmospheric re-entry dynamics of a reusable first stage booster belonging to a VTVL vehicle, and shaping the best tailored on-board guidance and control history. A preliminary G&C architecture is designed, which includes the vehicle dynamics and environment modelling, and the guidance and contr...
Conference Paper
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The exploration of dynamical structures in multibody environments is a complex and computationally demanding task. Millions of propagations are usually required to characterize small regions of the state space around either a point, an orbit, or a trajectory of interest. Even though a PC can handle such simulations, limitations associated to the co...
Article
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Future space programmes pose some interesting research problems in the field of non- Keplerian dynamics, being the Moon and the cislunar space central in the proposed roadmap for the future space exploration. In these regards, the deployment of a cislunar space station on a non-Keplerian orbit in the lunar vicinity is a fundamental milestone to be...
Article
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Recent studies highlighted the benefits of a support infrastructure located in Cislunar environment, which would ease the design of forthcoming space missions with a favorable access from and to the lunar surface, the Earth and many interplanetary destinations. Multi-body orbits rose a peculiar interest and were selected to stage a human-robotic ex...
Article
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The paper presents a novel 3-dimensional shape-based algorithm which extends the domain of analytical solutions to planeto-centric mission scenarios, which classically entail even thousands revolutions to transfer to the final orbit. Thanks to the strong physical meaning the proposed method keeps while shaping the trajectory, the method succeeds in...
Article
HERMES is a scientific mission composed of 3U nanosatellites dedicated to the detection and localization of high-energy astrophysical transients, with a distributed space architecture to form a constellation in Earth orbits. The space segment hosts novel miniaturized detectors to probe the x-ray temporal emission of bright events, such as gamma-ray...
Conference Paper
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The High Energy Rapid Modular Ensemble of Satellites (HERMES) is a project that plays a key role in the Multi-Messenger Astrophysics of the next decade. The implementation of a distributed space asset to continuously monitor the random electromagnetic emissions of bright high-energy transients in the Universe is proposed. Specifically, the technolo...
Chapter
The Flight Control Team Multi-Agent System (FCTMAS) study, funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), has investigated the use of multiagent systems in supporting flight control teams in routine operations. One of the scientific challenges of the FCTMAS study has been the detection of anomalies relative to a space system only on the basis of identi...
Conference Paper
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Although just few tens of binary asteroid systems are known, still they represent an intriguing natural facility for both planetary and universe science further understanding and technology in orbit demonstration. In particular, one of those, the Didymos system, recently captured the space community interest as a perfect target to test capabilities...
Conference Paper
In the last decade, the different space agencies, such as NASA and ESA, have shown serious interest in considering new mission scenarios exploiting a swarm of satellites flying in formation (i.e., Formation Flying). Simultaneously, the growing trend of miniaturization perfectly fits this perspective, providing even more flexibility to the mission....
Conference Paper
The family of Near Rectilinear Halo Orbits (NRHO) is a promising staging location for future missions to the Moon and to the solar system. Many recent researches proved the effectiveness of such orbits as staging locations, thanks to their low station-keeping cost and low access $\Delta v$; the family also provides cheap transfer possibilities to L...
Conference Paper
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Near Rectilinear Halo Orbits (NRHO) are a potential candidate for future exploration missions, due to their appealing features. They guarantee a large visibility window from Earth, low delta-v access requirements, low station keeping costs, and cheap access to the lunar surface, thus proving effective as staging orbits for lunar support orbiting in...
Conference Paper
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The research discusses the analytical solution for the planar attitude dynamics of a rigid body, located at an equilibrium point of the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem. The dynamics equations are compared to the nonlinear dynamics of a swinging pendulum, for which literature offers the exact solution; such solution is thus adapted and employ...
Conference Paper
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The focusing accuracy in reflective optical systems, usually expressed in terms of the Point Spread Function (PSF) is chiefly determined by two factors: the deviation of the mirror shape from the nominal design and the surface finishing. While the effects of the former are usually well described by the geometrical optics, the latter is diffractive/...
Conference Paper
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Interest on Large Space Structures (LSS), orbiting in strategic and possibly long-term stable locations, is nowadays increasing in the space community. LSS can serve as strategic outpost to support a variety of manned and unmanned mission, or may carry scientific payloads to broaden the knowledge of our universe. The paper is devoted to the analysi...
Conference Paper
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The Point Spread Function (PSF) allows for specifying the angular resolution of optical systems which is a key parameter used to define the performances of most optics. A prediction of the system’s PSF is therefore a powerful tool to assess the design and manufacture requirements of complex optical systems. Currently, well-established ray-tracing r...
Article
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The research project ‘Moon Mapping’ has been established in 2014 between the Italian and Chinese Governments to promote cooperation and exchange between undergraduate students from both countries. The operational phase of the project started in early 2015, and will end in 2017, for a total length of three years. The main aim is to train new scholar...
Article
Full-text available
The research project ‘Moon Mapping’ has been established in 2014 between the Italian and Chinese Governments to promote cooperation and exchange between undergraduate students from both countries. The operational phase of the project started in early 2015, and will end in 2017, for a total length of three years. The main aim is to train new scholar...
Article
Debris removal in Earth orbits is an urgent issue to be faced for space exploitation durability. Among different techniques, tethered-nets present appealing benefits and some open points to fix. Former and latter are discussed in the paper, supported by the exploitation of a multibody dynamics tool. With respect to other proposed capture mechanisms...
Conference Paper
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The topic of the paper is the investigation of Large Space Structures coupled dynamics, whenever located in a Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem (CR3BP) framework. The configuration design/6 DOF dynamics coupling is deeply investigated to, eventually, drive the infrastructure system and operational design. Because of the wideness of possible pr...
Conference Paper
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Formation flying concept for bi-static Synthetic Aperture Radar mapping of the Saturn’ moon Titan. Full design of a planetary mapping strategy by satellites formation, and guidance and control approach able to exploit the natural perturbations that affect the satellites relative motion around Titan, in order to meet the mapping requirements.
Conference Paper
A new analytical formulation is presented to approach low-thrust trajectories design, in the framework of a guidance law definition for an automated spacecraft to rendezvous and serve multiple active targets. The formulation exploits polar coordinates, avoiding the need of either Keplerian or equinoctial elements. To minimize the low thrust maneuve...
Conference Paper
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The paper presents the feasibility study results for a mission devoted to refuel satellites in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), with a fuel-tug robotic system, capable of autonomously maneuvering both in proximity of the targets and in the phasing trajectories. The fuel transfer system and interface is designed considering a xenon-based propulsion...
Conference Paper
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Robotic On-Orbiting Servicing (OOS) is a relevant technology development and research topic within the space community being the solution to increase the already in orbit active platforms flexibility and exploitability during and over their nominal lifetime. Within the broad OOS domain, the robotic refueling capability is definitely attractive as i...
Conference Paper
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The Point Spread Function (PSF) is a key figure of merit for specifying the angular resolution of optical systems and, as the demand for higher and higher angular resolution increases, the problem of surface finishing must be taken seriously even in optical telescopes. From the optical design of the instrument, reliable ray-tracing routines allow c...
Conference Paper
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The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a forthcoming international ground-based observatory for very high-energy gamma rays. Its goal is to reach sensitivity five to ten times better than existing Cherenkov telescopes such as VERITAS, H.E.S.S. or MAGIC and extend the range of observation to energies down to few tens of GeV and beyond 100 TeV. To ac...
Conference Paper
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The paper presents different strategies to model the gravitational field in the vicinity of irregular celestial bodies, such as asteroids and comets. The gravitational attraction of these irregular objects has been modeled, through accurate shape discretization, with a constant density polyhedron or an ensemble of point masses. In the latter case,...
Conference Paper
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AIM is part of a joint collaboration with NASA in the AIDA (Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment) mission. The primary goal of AIDA is to assess the feasibility of deflecting the heliocentric path of a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) binary system, by impacting on the surface of the smaller secondary asteroid of the couple. The work here presented is...
Conference Paper
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The paper presents the design of the landing strategy, during close proximity operations of ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission. The target of the mission is the binary asteroid system 65803 Didymos and the objective of this work is to investigate design opportunities to land a small and passive probe on the smaller asteroid of the couple. The dynamics o...
Article
The attitude motion of a rigid spacecraft in fully nonlinear reference orbits is explored in this investigation, within the context of the planar circular restricted three-body problem. The reference trajectories originate from the Lyapunov families about the Lagrangian pointsL1 andL2 in the Earth-Moon system. Kane's method is employed to derive th...
Article
The paper provides recent updates about the ESA study: Sample Canister Capture Mechanism Design and Breadboard developed under the Mars Robotic Exploration Preparation (MREP) program. The study is part of a set of feasibility studies aimed at identifying, analysing and developing technology concepts enabling the future international Mars Sample Ret...
Conference Paper
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Recently, the development of dedicated numerical codes has pushed forward the study of N-body gravitational dynamics leading to better and wider understanding of processes involving the formation of natural bodies in the Solar System. A major branch includes the study of asteroid formation: evidence from recent studies and observations support the...
Conference Paper
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Contactless Active Debris Removal (ADR) techniques are currently among the most promising methods to safely answer the problem of remediation. The paper discusses the effectiveness of debris de-tumbling using plume impingement of chemical thruster. The strategy implemented foresee the exploitation of a formation flying architecture: the chaser is c...
Conference Paper
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The study of formations of spacecraft in a three-body environment represents one of the most promising challenges for future space mission design. Two or more cooperating spacecraft can greatly answer some very complex mission goals, not achievable by a single spacecraft. In addition, the dynamical properties of a low acceleration environment such...
Conference Paper
To stabilize the space debris problem in low Earth orbit(LEO), the performance of active debris removalmissions is required. To prepare for such missions, theEuropean Space Agency (ESA) has initiated thee.Deorbit mission as part of its Clean Space activities,with ENVISAT as a sizing case for a potential removaltarget.For the phase A of e.Deorbit, O...
Conference Paper
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One of the most important aspects when dealing with a Potentially Hazardous Object (PHO) is the accurate determination of its dynamical state. In particular, the determination of orbital and rotational perturbations is important to propagate accurately the heliocentric orbital path of an asteroid or a comet, and to be more precise in the impact ris...
Conference Paper
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To prevent from future Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA), one of the most relevant techniques to be proved and tested is the deflection of the heliocentric path of the asteroid. Despite many theoretical studies on asteroid deflections are present in literature, this kind of solution has never been tested in a relevant environment before. ESA's...
Conference Paper
A phase-A feasibility study of an interplanetary mission to Saturn moon Titan is presented in this paper. The high-level scientific goals of the mission include performing a bi-static SAR mapping of the Titan surface by means of a formation of two satellites and making in-situ science on the surface and subsurface of Titan lakes by a probe. The ove...
Conference Paper
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Wireless sensor networks based on passive sensing can be successfully employed on spacecrafts, in both ground test campaign and in-flight monitoring. This work investigates the operation of the wireless sensors system within the actual environment in terms of link budget of the radio frequency (RF) channel under the Electromagnetic Compatibility (E...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The study of formations of spacecraft in a three-body environment represents one of the most promising challenges for future space mission design. Two or more cooperating spacecraft can greatly answer some very complex mission goals, when associated to the peculiar dynamical properties of a low-acceleration environment such as the vicinity of libra...
Conference Paper
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Alexander Cropp ESA, the Netherlands, Alexander.Cropp@esa.int The COBRA IRIDES is a proposed experiment to modify the attitude motion of a non-cooperative satellite by means of the interaction between the thruster exhaust gases and the target satellite. Previously the COBRA concept was studied as an active debris removal system which relies on cont...
Article
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During the last 40 years, the mass of orbiting objects increased at the rate of about 145 metric tons annually, leading to a total of approximately 7000 metric tons. Most of the cross-sectional area and mass (97% in low Earth orbit, LEO) is concentrated in about 4500 intact objects, i.e. abandoned spacecraft and rocket bodies, plus a further 1000 o...
Article
During the last 40 years, the mass of the artificial objects in orbit increased quite steadily at the rate of about 145 metric tons annually, leading to about 7000 metric tons. Most of the cross-sectional area and mass (97% in low Earth orbit) is concentrated in about 4500 intact abandoned objects plus a further 1000 operational spacecraft. Analyse...
Conference Paper
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Active Debris Removal (ADR) is one of the current hot spots in space research. Plenty of engineering challenges, it deals with uncooperative and tumbling orbiting objects to be approached and captured autonomously by another space vehicle, to eventually change their dynamics either directly transferring them to a disposal orbit or providing a contr...
Conference Paper
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Space debris mitigation and remediation are well-known and urgent issues that are being tackled by the Clean Space initiative at the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to ensure the safety of current and future space systems. Active Debris Removal (ADR) is one of the options studied in the frame of this initiative, when remediation actions have t...