Space and Planetary Robotics


Recent Theses

Juan Diego Florez Castillo, Novel Bidirectional Elastic Nonlinear Element (BENE) for Robotic Antagonistic Actuation, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, 2020.

Felix Sanchez, Trans-Gravitational Robot (TGR) with Linear and Angular Momentum Control, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, 2020.

Lecture notes and practice problems: AE 2550 and PH 2550 Atmospheric and Space Environments

Power point format: Course Introduction. Grand Themes: (1) Blue Sky, (2) Sun, (3) Magneto, (4) Atmosphere, (5) Near, (6) Rest.

PDF file format: Course Introduction. Grand Themes: (1) Blue Sky, (2) Sun, (3) Magneto, (4) Atmosphere, (5) Near, (6) Rest.

Homework 1, Homework 2, Homework 3, Midterm Exam, Homework 4, Homework 5, Homework 6, Final Exam

HW 1 Solutions, HW 2 Solutions, HW 3 Solutions, Midterm Exam Solutions, HW 4 Solutions, HW 5 Solutions, HW 6 Solutions, Final Exam Solutions

Old, outdated, lecture notes: RBE 595 Space and Planetary Robotics

Lecture 1:
Definitions, Big Picture, Brief Overview of Space Robots, Cosmic Journeys, Quick Facts about the Solar System, Kepler's Laws

Lecture 2:
Van Allen Radiation Belts, Satellites, Geostationary and other orbits, Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Earth Atmosphere / Magnetic Field / Aurora, Solar Storms, Space Debris

Lecture 3:
Propulsion, Rocket Equation, Specific Impulse, Rocket Engines, High-bypass Turbofan Engines, Ramjets, Scramjets
Homework 1: Reusable Rocket Vertical Landing (VL)

Lecture 4:
Spacecraft dynamics, Thrust, Lift, Drag, Gravity, Linear and Angular Momentum, Hints for Homework 1, PID Control

Lecture 5:
Space Robotics historical highlights, Robotic Manipulators, Space Shuttle program, Canadarm, International Space Station (ISS), Canadarm 2, Mir Space Station, Lyappa arms
Homework 2: Freeflyer Arm Dynamics (without load), end effector trajectory and joint torques

Lecture 6:
Soyuz (un)docking, Dextre, Mobile Base System (MBS), Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), Robonaut, Robonaut 2

Lecture 7:
Rovers, Lunar Rovers, Lunokhod 1, Lunokhod 2, Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), Lunar Soil / Regolith, Dust Atmosphere, 'Moon fountain', Mars Rovers, Viking Missions to Mars, Mariner, Olympus Mons, Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity
Homework 3: Dynamics of autonomous Moon rover and biped robot

Lecture 8:
Curiosity, Old Moon Missions, Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, Surveyor, Apollo 1, Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 10, Apollo 11, Space Suits, Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU)
Homework 4: Big Asteroid on Collision Path with Earth. Can you save us?

Lecture 9:
What's happening next (5 years), Fast-forward to Interstellar, Special Theory of Relativity: Earth and Cabin Time, Ideal Propulsion