Spacecraft Attitude Determination Using Artificial Intelligence and Light Curves

A precise knowledge of the situation in space is fundamental for a real space traffic management (STM). Moreover, insights into spacecraft capabilities and statuses are necessary to understand the possible behavior of satellites. Spacecraft propulsion capacities might be only partially communicated or not available. Therefore, there is a need to develop tools using various technologies and methods to measure a satellite’s maneuver capabilities on the basis of observations only.


Based on light curves and the corresponding spacecraft orbital data along with its physical properties (shape and dimensions), the student will have to develop an intelligent module to interpret all the available information and provide an attitude estimation of the platform.
To perform this project, the student will have access to the internal database and software to query the needed orbital and geometrical properties of the satellites (when known).

Required skills

For the good realization of the project, it is recommended that the student have knowledge of the following aspects:
• General understanding of the orbital physics
• Programming skills in Java
• Willing to bring new ideas and collaborate

Place of work

The student will have the opportunity to work in a stimulating environment with other students in different locations (Lausanne, Bern, Zurich) in Switzerland depending on the needs of the projects.