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The Space Rendezvous Laboratory (SLAB) is a research and development laboratory of the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics  at Stanford University founded and led by Professor Simone D’Amico. SLAB performs fundamental and applied research at the intersection of Astrodynamics and Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) to enable future distributed space systems. These include but are not limited to spacecraft formation-flying, rendezvous and docking, swarms, and fractionated space architectures. The vision of SLAB is that multi-satellite systems will help humanity addressing fundamental questions of space science, technology, and exploration. In order to respond to the ever increasing demand of positioning accuracy posed by these missions, SLAB’s objective is to develop, validate, and embed the necessary cutting-edge technologies into a formation of micro- and nano-satellites to be launched in space in the next decade. To this end, high-fidelity hardware-in-the-loop testbeds are under development including spaceborne radio-frequency and optical navigation sensors. The research at SLAB is based on more than 10 years of experience in the implementation and flight operations of GN&C subsystems for formation-flying and on-orbit servicing missions (e.g., GRACE, TanDEM-X, PRISMA, BIROS, DEOS, etc.). Ultimately partnerships at national and international level will pave the way for breakthrough demonstrations of new technology.

Sample Portfolio of Spacecraft Formation Flying Missions with SLAB's Contributions


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