PhD Students

Education

MS USU

2017

2014

BS Univ. of Minnesota

Simon Shuster

For his master's thesis, Simon Shuster analyzed the accuracy and computational requirements of several fully numerical and fully analytical propagation techniques for low Earth orbits, geostationary orbits, and elliptical orbits.  He has also presented research on initial relative orbit determination using time difference of arrival measurements; that is, how one satellite can determine its orbit with respect to another by measuring the difference in signal arrival times between the two satellites.  His general research interests include astrodynamics, guidance, and navigation.

Aerospace Engineering

Awards

2017-2021

Presidential Doctoral Research Fellowship, USU

First Place Student Paper, AAS Guidance & Control Conference

2017

Publications and Presentations

S. Shuster, A. Sinclair, A. Lovell.
"Initial Relative Orbit Determination Using Heterogeneous TDOA." 

IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky MT, March 2017.

S. Shuster, A. Sinclair, A. Lovell.

"Uncertainty Analysis for Initial Relative Orbit Determination Using Time Difference of Arrival Measurements." AAS 17-012. 

AAS Guidance and Control Conference, Breckenridge CO, February 2017.

Arun Bernard

Education

BS USU

2016

Aerospace Engineering

Arun Bernard studies attitude determination of resident space objects using simultaneous photometry; that is, how to use simultaneous observations to estimate the orientation in space of a piece of orbiting debris.  He also works with the USU-STAR telescope, which tracks and photographs small debris objects in geostationary orbit for the US Air Force.

Awards

2016-2018

Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium Fellowship

Publications and Presentations

Education

B.E. in Mechanical Engineering, SRM University, India

2014

Rachit Bhatia

Rachit Bhatia received his undergraduate in mechanical engineering from SRM University, India. He was a summer intern at Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA, Bangalore) and worked on a research project to evaluate the errors in centroids for photon counting imagers, for ultraviolet imaging telescope (UVIT) modeling, onboard Astrosat mission. Currently, he is pursuing Ph.D. to study the feasibility of developing an autonomous orbital navigation system using gravity gradiometry. The objective of this research is to design a navigation system which can enhance space safety, and reduce complexity and cost of spacecraft navigation systems.

Aerospace Engineering

Awards

Publications and Presentations

A. Nafi, A. Bernard, K. Fujimoto.

"A Unified Approach For Optical Survey Strategy Design of Resident Space Objects."  AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Long Beach CA, 2016.

K. Fujimoto, A. Bernard, A. Nafi.

"Assessing Two-Track Initial Orbit Determination Methods For Resident Space Object Catalog Initialization."
AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Long Beach CA, 2016.

R. Bhatia, D. Geller. "Autonomous Navigation Using Gravity Gradient Measurements.", USU Student Research Symposium, Logan, April 2017

Education

BS Military Institute of Science and Technology, Dhaka

2013

Akhter Mahmud Nafi

Akhter Mahmud Nafi graduated from the Military Institute of Science and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2013, where he worked as a lecturer in 2014. Nafi's research interests are in survey methods for resident space objects and orbit determination. He operates the USU-STAR telescope at Bearlake observatory to obtain images of the satellites, process and analyze those images to determine the positions of the satellites. 

Aerospace Engineering

Awards

Publications and Presentations

Education

MS Utah State University

2016

2012

BS Utah State University

Nicholas Ortolano

Nicholas Ortolano's research involves applying convex optimization to rendezvous proximity operations. He completed his Master's degree at Utah State University and is currently in his second year working on a PhD in Aerospace Engineering.

Aerospace Engineering

Awards

Publications and Presentations

Nicholas Ortolano, David Geller, and T. Alan Lovell. Split-maneuver Targeting Based on Pseudo-Lambert Targeting and the Clohessy Wiltshire Equations. Proceedings of AAS GN&C Conference - Rocky Mountain Section16-033, 2016.

Nicholas Ortolano, David Geller, and Aaron Avery. Relative Orbital Motion Dynamics with Respect to a Rotating Spacecraft-fixed Frame. Proceedings of AAS GN&C Conference - Rocky Mountain Section 17-016, 2017.

David Geller, Nick Ortolano, and Aaron Avery. Real-time Optimal Trajectory Planning for Orbital Rendezvous, Satellite Inspection, and Docking Based on Convex Optimization. Proceedings of AAS GN&C Conference - Rocky Mountain Section 17-074, 2017.

Nicholas Ortolano, and David Geller. Optimal Maneuvers for Safe RPO Based on Relative Orbital Elements. Proceedings of International Astronomical Federation IWSCFF Conference 17-54, 2017. 

Nicholas Ortolano, David Geller, and Aaron Avery. Autonomous Optimal Trajectory Planning for Orbital Rendezvous, Satellite Inspection, and Final Approach Based on Convex Optimization. (Publication TBD)

2015-2019

Presidential Doctoral Research Fellowship (PDRF), Utah State University

2012

MIST Commandant's List Certificate

Education

BS USU

2010

2008

AS Coll. of Eastern Utah

Louis Tonc

After graduating from USU in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and an emphasis in thermal systems, Louis Tonc interned with a nuclear waste cleanup project at Idaho National Laboratory.  Later, he worked in Wyoming as a mining engineer for PacifiCorp, with responsibility for waste oil collection, boreholes, ventilation analysis, pipe network design, and production analysis.  Since returning to USU, he has helped evaluate 3D printed fuel grains for arc-ignited hybrid rockets, resulting in a paper for the prestigious Journal of Propulsion and Power.  His doctoral research examines the performance of unconventional stochastic estimation filters with skewed nonlinear probability distributions, which frequently arise in orbital mechanics problems.

Aerospace Engineering

Awards

Publications and Presentations

S.A. Whitmore, S.L. Merkley, L. Tonc, S.D. Mathias.  "Survey of Selected Additively-Manufactured Propellant for Arc-Ignition of Hybrid Rockets."  Journal of Propulsion and Power 32:6, 2016.

2008

Outstanding Engineer-ing Student, CEU

2016

MS USU

Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium Fellowship

2017-2018

2015

USU Research and Graduate Study Aerospace Scholarship 

A. Nafi, A. Bernard, K. Fujimoto.

"A Unified Approach For Optical Survey Strategy Design of Resident Space Objects."  AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Long Beach CA, 2016.

K. Fujimoto, A. Bernard, A. Nafi.

"Assessing Two-Track Initial Orbit Determination Methods For Resident Space Object Catalog Initialization."
AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Long Beach CA, 2016.

A.M. Nafi, F.A. Pomi, E. Ankur, M.E.A. Papon.

"Design proposal and performance specification of data bus network for small aircraft ensuring high reliability." IEEE Student Conference on Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Science, Bhopal India, April 2014.

K.M. Faisal, M.E.A. Papon, A.M. Nafi. "Performance analysis of aerofoil for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle."  1st International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (ICEEICT 2014)

M.E.A. Papon, S.W. Tanveer, A.M. Nafi, S. Ferdous, U. Umaima. "A proposed model of aircraft direction finding and integrated architecture of theta-theta DRDF."   International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (ICEEICT 2014)

N. Verma, M.E.A. Papon, A.M. Nafi. "Design Proposal for Optical Data Bus Network for Small Aircraft." International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering 3:6, June 2013.