Space Research

Space Research

The MAE Space Research Group pushes the bounds of space technology, from Earth orbits, past the moon and Mars, to the Sun and beyond. This group leverages techniques within and outside the traditional space domain to propel the state-of-the-art in space research beyond the current horizon into the future. 

The group spans both theory and application, including but not limited to: modeling the motions of satellites and space environmental effects, guidance/navigation/control/autonomy of space vehicles, trajectory optimization and space mission planning, thermal and power management, environmental control and life support systems research, etc. This group also spans the gamut from hardware to software, from developing instrumentation for sensing and actuating in the space environment to coding for advanced algorithm development and novel modeling infrastructures. 

Enlil model run of the July 23, 2012 CME and events leading up to it. This view includes a ‘top-down’ view in the plane of Earth’s orbit, as well as a slice perpendicular to the orbit which passes through Earth. We see the previous CME pass Earth, but not the July 23 event.
February 25, 2023. Active Region 13229. A 6.3 M-class flare see in SDO/AIA 171 angstrom filter. The point-spread function correction (PSF) has been applied to all this imagery.
This 10-year time lapse of the Sun at 17.1nm shows the rise and fall of the solar cycle and notable events, like transiting planets and solar eruptions.

Areas of Excellence

Related Faculty

Dr. Jonathan T. Brooks Instructional Assistant Professor
(352) 294-0472

B.S., 2012, University of Florida,M.S., 2013, University of Florida,Ph.D., 2017, University of Florida
Professional Memberships and Fellowships
American Society of Engineering Education, Member
Teaching Interests
Numerical methods, control systems, and optimization.

Dr. Jacob N. Chung Andrew H. Hines, Jr./Florida Progress Corporation Eminent Scholar
(352) 392-9607

Dr. Chung is currently the Andrew H. Hines, Jr./Progress Energy Eminent Scholar Chair Professor at the University of Florida. He joined the University of Florida in 1998 after 19 years on the faculty at the Washington State University. Dr. Chung holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Nuclear Engineering and had spent 6 years working as a nuclear reactor safety engineer in the industry before receiving his Ph.D.…

Dr. John W. Conklin Knox Millsaps Associate Professor
(352) 392-0614

John Conklin is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida. He joined the UF faculty in 2012 after a three-year research associateship at the W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory at Stanford. He received his BS and MEng degrees from Cornell and PhD from Stanford in 2009. In 2011, John was the Fulbright Junior Lecturer at the University of Trento in Italy.…

Dr. Warren Dixon Dean’s Leadership Professor and Department Chair
(352) 846-1463

Prof. Warren Dixon received his Ph.D. in 2000 from Clemson University. He worked as a research staff member and Eugene P. Wigner Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) until 2004, when he joined the University of Florida in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, where he is now an Ebaugh Professor and Department Chair. His main research interest has been the development and application of Lyapunov-based control techniques for uncertain nonlinear systems.…

Dr. James Fairbanks MAE Affiliate Faculty / Assistant Professor in Computer & Information Science & Engineering

James Fairbanks, Ph.D., earned his B.S. in Mathematics at the University of Florida and his Ph.D at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Computational Science and Engineering. He studied under the supervision of Professor David A. Bader, while supported by the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship.

He then worked at the Georgia Tech Research Institute on Data Analysis and High Performance Computing as applied to scientific computing and data science problems in healthcare.…

Dr. Norman G. Fitz-coy Associate Professor
(352) 392-1029

Ph.D., 1990, Auburn University
Professional Memberships and Fellowships
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Member
Research Interests
Dynamics and control of multibody systems, game theory, orbital dynamics, flight mechanics.

Dr. Matthew T. Hale Associate Professor
(352) 294-0436

Matthew Hale received his BSE summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received his MS and PhD from Georgia Tech. His work is driven by designing and analyzing multi-agent coordination algorithms that function well under challenging conditions, such as asynchronous information sharing, noisy communications, and user privacy requirements. His work deploys these algorithms on teams of flying and ground robots, providing both validation of the underlying theory and further research directions.…

Dr. Richard C. Lind Associate Professor
(352) 392-6745

Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, 1995, University of Minnesota
Professional Memberships and Fellowships
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Member
Research Interests
aeroservoelasticity, morphing, controls, flight testing

Dr. Amor A. Menezes Assistant Professor
(352) 294-0470

Amor A. Menezes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, an affiliate of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, an affiliate of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and a member of the Institute for Cell & Tissue Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. His group applies dynamical systems theory and control engineering methods in the fields of systems biology and synthetic biology.…

Dr. Saeed Moghaddam William F. Powers Professor
(352) 392-0889

Ph.D., 2006, University of Maryland
Research Interests
Micro/nanoscale transport and nanotechnology for energy science and health applications; nanoengineering of functionalized membranes for energy conversion and storage and filtration/separation applications; heat and mass transfer in micro/nanostructures; microfluidic reactor platforms for fundamental energy research and reaction engineering; portable power

Professional Memberships and Fellowships
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Member
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Member
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Fellow 2020
Institute of Electrics and Electronics Engineers, Member

Dr. Alicia Petersen Assistant Professor
(352) 392-3496

Alicia Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at the University of Florida. Through data analysis, instrumentation and modeling, Dr. Petersen researches the kinetic physics, magnetism and dynamics at play during the transit and interaction of space weather phenomena in the inner solar system, their impacts on spacecraft, and strategies for mitigating the impacts of space weather.…

Dr. Christopher “Chrispy” Petersen Assistant Professor
(352) 273-2004

Dr. Christopher “Chrispy” Petersen is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department at the University of Florida. His research interests lie in anything related to space guidance, navigation, control, and autonomy, with particular focus of making techniques real-time implementable and usable for operators. While all of space interests him, his research mostly is concerned with Rendezvous, Proximity Operations, and Docking (RPOD) and any satellite in the eXtra Geostationary (XGEO) regime (above geostationary orbit, to the Moon, and beyond).…

Dr. Anil V. Rao University Term Professor
(352) 392-5523

Professor Rao earned his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, his M.S.E. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, and his B.S. in mechanical engineering and A.B. in mathematics from Cornell University.  Professor Rao’s research interests lie in the area of control and optimization of space and air vehicles and combine the development of new computational methods for optimal control with novel applications including space mission planning, performance optimization of atmospheric flight vehicles, and other vehicular control problems (for example, high performance ground and underwater vehicles). …

Dr. Subrata Roy Professor
(352) 392-9823

Professor Subrata Roy studies ionized gas physics and its various applications: (1) Atmospheric plasma actuators for flow mixing, propulsion, and turbulent flow control; (2) Hypersonic flows; (3) Space propulsion; and (4) Hydrodynamic models for micro and nanofluidics by incorporating Knudsen’s theory. Prof. Roy is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Fellow of the ASME, and an Associated Fellow of the AIAA.…

Dr. Malisa Sarntinoranont Professor and Associate Chair for Faculty Affairs
(352) 392-8404

Dr. Sarntinoranont grew up in Starke, Clermont and Gainesville, FL. Her degrees are in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Bioengineering. Dr.S’s research is driven by a vision to develop engineering tools for patient-specific drug therapy. Her lab is developing image-based computational models that predict flows and transport within the brain, spinal cord, tumors and bioreactors.…

Dr. S.A. Sherif MAE Excellence Term Professor
(352) 392-7821

Ph.D., 1985, Iowa State University
Professional Memberships and Fellowships
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Fellow 2002
American Society of Engineering Education, Member
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Fellow 2002
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Fellow 2000
Royal Aeronautical Society, Fellow 2017
American Society of Thermal and Fluids Engineers, Member
International Association for Hydrogen Energy, Member
International Institute of Refrigeration, Member
International Solar Energy Society, Member

Research Interests
Heat and Mass Transfer, Thermodynamics, Thermal System Design and Optimization, Refrigeration and Cryogenics, HVAC, Solar and Hydrogen Energy

Dr. Jane Jaejeong Shin Assistant Professor

Jane Shin is an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Florida. She received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and the B.S. degree in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering from Seoul National University.
During her PhD, she closely collaborated with the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Panama City (NSWC PCD) on developing novel information-driven sensor path planning algorithms for underwater multi-target classification using side-scan sonar sensors.…

Dr. Peter Wass Research Scientist
(352) 392-6746

Professional Memberships and Fellowships
American Physical Society, Member