Pierluigi Di Lizia

Pierluigi Di Lizia
Politecnico di Milano | Polimi · Department of Aerospace Engineering

Ph. D.

About

169
Publications
29,538
Reads
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1,170
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2011 - July 2011
Michigan State University
Position
  • Researcher
June 2008 - December 2014
Politecnico di Milano
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (169)
Article
Full-text available
Ballistic capture orbits offer safer Mars injection at longer transfer time. However, the search for such an extremely rare event is a computationally intensive process. Indeed, it requires the propagation of a grid sampling the whole search space. This work proposes a novel ballistic capture search algorithm based on Taylor differential algebra pr...
Conference Paper
In the last decades, the Near-Earth environment has grown increasingly crowded due to an exponential increase in launches and Space missions. As a direct consequence of that, fragmentations, impacts and debris have caused one of the most important issues of the commercial use of Space to rise: Space Traffic Management. In this framework, Space Surv...
Article
This work presents robust and numerically efficient algorithms for designing low-thrust collision avoidance maneuvers in short-term encounters. The conjunction dynamics are developed in a tridimensional space and then projected onto the B-plane, centered at the secondary object. Energy- and fuel-optimal maneuvers are computed by constraining the co...
Article
Full-text available
Active debris removal and unmanned on-orbit servicing missions have gained interest in the last few years, along with the possibility to perform them through the use of an autonomous chasing spacecraft. In this work, new resources are proposed to aid the implementation of guidance, navigation, and control algorithms for satellites devoted to the in...
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...
Conference Paper
The in-orbit overpopulation is currently fostering Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) related applications, in which ground-based sensors (optical and radar) are typically used. This paper presents the orbit determination functions provided by the novel Italian SST Operation Centre (ISOC) Suite. First, a statistical index is computed to assess t...
Conference Paper
Space Surveillance and Tracking operations are vital for the subsistence of the spacecrafts population. A software, called SNOS (Sensors Network Optimal Scheduler), has been developed in order to automate the observations planning on a sensors network. The tool generates a user-specified number of schedules, optimized in terms of catalog coverage a...
Article
The increasing population of resident space objects is currently fostering many Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) initiatives, which are based on the use of ground sensors. Italy contributes to the European SST Support Framework with the BIstatic RAdar for LEo Survey (BIRALES). Orbit determination from BIRALES observations relies on the estimat...
Conference Paper
One of the most crucial activities related to the RSO catalogue maintenance operations segment is Initial Orbit Determination (IOD), usually acting as last resort in this context. In this regard, the present work describes a novel development of the two-body integral-based IOD method, exploiting an Automatic Domain Splitting technique and Different...
Article
This paper aims to present a deep learning-based pipeline for estimating the pose of an uncooperative target spacecraft from a single grayscale monocular image. The possibility of enabling autonomous vision-based relative navigation in close proximity to a noncooperative resident space object would be especially appealing for mission scenarios such...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, a novel approach based on the U-Net deep neural network for image segmentation is leveraged for real-time extraction of tracklets from optical acquisitions. As in all machine learning (ML) applications, a series of steps is required for a working pipeline: dataset creation, preprocessing, training, testing, and post-processing to ref...
Article
A novel algorithm for autonomous landing guidance computation is presented. The trajectory is expressed in polynomial form of minimum order to satisfy a set of 17 boundary constraints, depending on 2 parameters: time-of-flight and initial thrust magnitude. The consequent control acceleration is expressed in terms of differential algebraic (DA) vari...
Article
The Earth-Moon system is constantly bombarded by meteoroids of different size and impact speed. Observation of the impacts on the Moon can enable thorough characterization of the Lunar meteoroid flux, which is similar to that of the Earth. While Earth-based Lunar observations are restricted by weather, geometric and illumination conditions, a Lunar...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we present a real-world application of online learning with expert advice to the field of Space Operations, testing our theory on real-life data coming from the Copernicus Sentinel-6 satellite. We show that in Spacecraft Memory Dump Optimization, a lightweight Follow-The-Leader algorithm leads to an increase in performance of over $6...
Conference Paper
View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-2384.vid In recent years, space debris has become a threat for satellites operating in Low Earth Orbit. Even by applying debris mitigation guidelines, their number will still increase in the next century. As a consequence, active debris removal missions as well as On-Orbit Servicing missions h...
Article
This study investigates the robustness of orbital motion in the vicinity of the asteroid 469219 Kamo'oalewa (2016 HO3) considering the uncertainties of its mass and the solar radiation pressure. By applying the automatic domain splitting algorithm, these uncertainties are propagated and their effects on orbits with different geometries are investig...
Conference Paper
Performing real-time and robust space object detection by means of optical acquisitions is a challenging task in space surveillance, especially when tracking involves uncatalogued objects. Conventionally, this problem is addressed by means of traditional detection or segmentation based techniques to identify the tracklets relative position in the s...
Article
Spacecraft relative state estimation is of paramount importance in the problem of rendezvous with an uncooperative target; indeed, an accurate prediction of its relative position and attitude is crucial for safe proximity operations, especially considering autonomous guidance, navigation, and control. Therefore, a key point for the success of these...
Conference Paper
The ability to simulate the behavior of different sensor configurations is critical for the development of a sensor network that provides data for Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) services. Any software suite devoted to this shall be able to assess the performance of existing networks in terms of effectiveness and robustness, as well as to est...
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
The increasing in-orbit population of resident objects is currently fostering many Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) initiatives, which are based on the use of ground sensors. Italy contributes to the EUSST initiative with the BIstatic RAdar for LEo Survey (BIRALES), whose transmitter is the Radio Frequency Transmitter, located at the Italian J...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Multibeam surveillance radars are usually employed in staring mode and generate significant amount of data during the passage of a space object in their Field of View (FoV). Typically, the reconstruction of the object track is performed with deterministic methods based on heavy minimization processes where Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), Doppler shift...
Conference Paper
Space debris is a threat to present and future space missions, space-borne infrastructures, and space accessibility in general. It is important to keep in check the production of more debris and to monitor the existing ones. In the case of larger debris, knowledge on their tumbling motion can be beneficial for the prediction of their dynamic and ki...
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...
Article
For a rendezvous space mission to a small body, the gravity field is usually modeled with large uncertainty in the preliminary mission design. Consequently, the orbital motion in the vicinity of the body cannot be predicted accurately. In this research, the automatic domain splitting (ADS) method is applied as an indicator to characterize the dynam...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Vast amounts of meteoroids and micrometeoroids continuously enter the Earth–Moon system and consequently become a potential threat. Lunar meteoroid impacts have caused a substantial change in the lunar surface and its properties. The Moon having no atmospheric blanket to protect itself, it is subjected to impacts from meteoroids ranging from a few...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The ability to study the performance of different sensor configurations is crucial for the development of any sensor network that provides data for Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) services. Any software suite devoted to this purpose shall be able to assess the performance of an existing network in terms of effectiveness and robustness, as wel...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to present the design and validation of a deep learning-based pipeline for estimating the pose of an uncooperative target spacecraft, from a single grayscale monocular image. The possibility of enabling autonomous vision-based relative navigation, in close proximity to a non-cooperative space object, has recently gained rem...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years, fragmentation events have become more frequent and more difficult to predict and avoid, with growing risk for the safety of space operations. The constant surveillance and tracking of space objects facilitates the prediction of such events and allows to back track new objects and identify whether they originated in such an event. T...
Conference Paper
In the framework of Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST), Italy contributes with the BIstatic RAdar for LEo Survey. BIRALES Field of View (FoV) can be populated with many independent beams, such that, during a passage, the beam illumination sequence enables the estimation of the angular path of the transiting object. A tailored signal processing a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Small-bodies such as asteroids and comets exhibit great variability in surface morphological features. These are often unknown beforehand but can be exploited for hazard avoidance during landing, autonomous planning of scientific observations, and for navigation purposes. The detection and classification of such features is a laborious task that re...
Preprint
An analytical formulation for collision avoidance maneuvers involving a spacecraft and a space debris is presented, including solutions for the maximum deviation and minimum collision probability cases. Gauss' planetary equations and relative motion equations are used to map maneuvers at a given time to displacements at the predicted close approach...
Article
An analytical formulation for collision avoidance maneuvers involving a spacecraft and a space debris is presented, including solutions for the maximum deviation and minimum collision probability cases. Gauss' planetary equations and relative motion equations are used to map maneuvers at a given time to displacements at the predicted close approach...
Preprint
The core aspects and latest developments of Manoeuvre Intelligence for Space Safety (MISS), a new software tool for collision avoidance analysis and design, are presented. The tool leverages analytical and semi-analytical methods for the efficient modelling of the orbit modifications due to different control strategies, such as impulsive or low-thr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Space debris is a term for all human-made objects orbiting the Earth reentering the atmosphere. These objects have variable sizes and shapes and they can include non-functional satellites and spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages and fragmentation debris. The population of space debris is continuously growing and it represents a potential iss...
Conference Paper
Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is referred as one of the capacitive areas of strategic interest to be developed/completed in the future in the short and medium term, for any nation with the target of the access to the space. One of the fundamental components is the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) program, considered as the capability to bu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The LUnar Meteoroid Impacts Observer (LUMIO) is a CubeSat mission to a halo orbit at Earth–Moon L2 that shall observe, quantify, and characterize meteoroid impacts on the Lunar farside, by detecting their flashes. In this way, LUMIO is expected to significantly contribute to Lunar Situational Awareness and to the current knowledge on the evolution...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Lunar Meteoroid Impacts Observer (LUMIO) is a CubeSat mission to observe, quantify, and characterise the meteoroid impacts by detecting their flashes on the lunar far-side. This complements the knowledge gathered by Earth-based observations of the lunar nearside, thus synthesising a global information on the lunar meteoroid environment. In this...
Article
Full-text available
This work introduces two Monte Carlo (MC)-based sampling methods, known as line sampling and subset simulation, to improve the performance of standard MC analyses in the context of asteroid impact risk assessment. Both techniques sample the initial uncertainty region in different ways, with the result of either providing a more accurate estimate of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years space debris has become an imminent and growing problem for space operations around Earth. Consequently, active debris removal and satellite servicing missions have gained increasing attention. For such scenarios, the chaser must operate autonomously in the vicinity of a non-cooperative unknown target. This paper presents a sampling...
Article
The core aspects and latest developments of Manoeuvre Intelligence for Space Safety (MISS), a new software tool for the analysis and design of collision avoidance manoeuvres involving a spacecraft and a space debris, are presented. The tool leverages analytical and semi-analytical methods for the efficient modelling of the orbit modifications due t...
Article
The Solar System features thousands of Near-Earth Asteroids that could be at collision risk with our planet in the future. Scientists are investigating the possibility of deflecting asteroids from their trajectory by means of a hyper-velocity impactor spacecraft. The aim of this research is to develop and simulate a GNC strategy to control the spac...
Article
The uncontrolled re-entry of spacecraft and upper stages is quite common, occurring nearly every week. Among them, intact objects having a mass greater than five metric tons re-enter, on average, 1–2 times per year. Therefore, the re-entry of the first Chinese Space Station, Tiangong-1, was far from unusual, but attracted anyway a great worldwide a...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a novel method to obtain the solution to the initial orbit determination problem for optical observations as a continuum of orbits—namely the orbit set—that fits the set of acquired observations within a prescribed accuracy. Differential algebra is exploited to analytically link the uncertainty in the observations to the state o...
Article
The growing population of artificial satellites in near-Earth orbit has made the monitoring of orbital debris objects ever more important. Orbital debris objects pose a threat to these satellites as their orbit cannot be changed in order to avoid a collision. In recent years, the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) p...
Article
2020, Univelt Inc. All rights reserved. Precision landing on large planetary bodies is an important technology that enables future human and robotic exploration of the solar system. For example, over the past decade, landing systems for robotic missions have been developed with the specific goal of deploying robotic agents (e.g. rovers, landers) on...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The core aspects and latest developments of MISS, a new software tool for collision avoidance analysis and design, are presented. The tool leverages analytical and semi-analytical methods for the efficient modelling of the orbit modifications due to different control strategies, such as impulsive or low-thrust manoeuvres, and maps them into displac...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Asteroids usually have irregular gravity field due to their non-spherical shapes. Moreover, their gravity fields are estimated with large uncertainty as a result of the limited ground observations. Resultantly, the orbital motion in their vicinity can be highly unstable and cannot be predicted accurately before reaching the asteroid. Therefore, the...
Conference Paper
The recent reductions in the cost of access to space and the introduction of smaller, more cost-effective platforms have spurred novel mission concepts ranging from small CubeSat-based experiments to large constellations. Inevitably, this will also lead to a notable increase in collision avoidance activities. Furthermore, an increasing number of sa...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, a high-order state transition polynomial with time expansion (STP-T) method is developed to propagate an initial orbital state around its reference value to a variable final time based on the differential algebra (DA) technique. STP-T is a high-order Taylor polynomial of the final orbital state expanded around the reference initial s...
Article
In this work we present a conceptual analysis of the use of the novel Italian multibeam radar sensor BIRALES for space surveillance. The dedicated orbit determination algorithm is described in detail. The algorithm is tailored to the peculiar configuration of the receiver gain pattern and is devoted to both reconstructing the track of the object tr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When dealing with proximity operations between a Target and a Chaser spacecraft, the design of an effective inspection strategy requires an approach that is able to consider many requirements and constraints. The nonlinearity of such requirements hinders the effectiveness of classical trajectory optimization methods. In this work an SBMP algorithm,...
Article
Full-text available
The total number of active satellites, rocket bodies, and debris larger than 10 cm is currently about 20,000. If all resident space objects larger than 1 cm are considered, this number increases to an estimate of 700,000 objects. The next generation of sensors will be able to detect small-size objects, producing millions of observations per day. Ho...
Preprint
This work introduces two Monte Carlo (MC)-based sampling methods, known as line sampling and subset simulation, to improve the performance of standard MC analyses in the context of asteroid impact risk assessment. Both techniques sample the initial uncertainty region in different ways, with the result of either providing a more accurate estimation...
Article
A differential algebra based representation and propagation of the Line of Variations for Near Earth Objects impact monitoring is presented in this paper. The Line of Variations is described at the initial epoch by a high-order polynomial that is propagated forward in time. An Automatic Domain Splitting algorithm is embedded in the numerical integr...
Chapter
The Lunar Meteoroid Impact Observer (LUMIO) is one of the four projects selected within ESA’s SysNova competition to develop a small satellite for scientific and technology demonstration purposes to be deployed by a mothership around the Moon. The mission utilizes a 12U form-factor CubeSat which carries the LUMIO-Cam, an optical instrument capable...
Presentation
A key characteristic of drag and solar sails is their high area-to-mass ratio, which provides great cost-efficiency for tasks such as end-of-life deorbiting. However, it also negatively affects collision risk by increasing the spacecraft’s collisional Cross-Sectional Area (CSA), and the stronger perturbing accelerations from drag and Solar Radiatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a survey of past and new results of the application of advanced sampling techniques for orbital conjunction analysis and Near Earth Objects impact probability computation. The theoretical background of the methods is presented, along with the results of their applications and a critical discussion of the benefits introduced .
Article
Full-text available
Nonlinear uncertainty propagation is of critical importance in many application fields of astrodynamics. In this article, a framework combining the differential algebra technique and the Gaussian mixture model method is presented to accurately propagate the state uncertainty of a nonlinear system. A high-order Taylor expansion of the final state wi...