MAE Seminar – The Growing Interest in Space Constellations and Their Potential Effects on the Durability and R


12:45 pm-1:45 pm
Add to Outlook/iCal
Add to Google Calendar


MAE-A Room 303
939 Sweetwater Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611


The Growing Interest in Space Constellations and Their Potential Effects on the Durability and Reliability of the Space Environment

Tuesday, August 29, 2023, at 12:50 pm
Location: In-Person MAE-A, Room 303

Norman Fitz-Coy, PhD
Associate Professor, UF Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

The space environment surrounding the Earth is becoming more
congested with systems that vary in mass, shape, and material (e.g., spacecraft, launch vehicles, and subsystem/components of either). Recent collisions and/or ASAT missions have (i) resulted in increased debris fragments generated in orbit.

Norman Fitz‐Coy is the Director of the Space Systems Group (SSG) at the
The University of Florida focuses on the development and validation of
transformative technologies with specific applications to small satellites. Within SSG, his recent activities focus primarily on technologies for small satellites and space situational awareness (SSA). With regard to small satellites, he has developed the smallest control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) for the attitude control of CubeSats and have also developed and flown a mission to demonstrate these devices. SwampSat, UF’s first CubeSat in 2012, was a 1U CubeSat (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) that included as its payload these CMGs. Unfortunately, none of the three CubeSats within the launch pod (SwampSat and two other 1U cubes) were successfully launched, and preliminary analysis indicated a short circuit occurred within the launch pod. Dr. Fitz‐Coy followed this mission with SwampSat II in 2019, which was a 3U CubeSat also developed by SSG and was designed to measure very low frequency (VLF) wave propagation in Earth’s upper atmosphere. The spacecraft utilized a novel 16‐meter square‐loop antenna system designed to fit within the small envelope of a 3U CubeSat. For his SSA efforts, the past decade has seen the
design of a generalized low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite, its fabrication and testing, the performance of a hypervelocity impact test at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex in Tennessee, the collection and transportation of the resulting debris fragments to UF for characterization, and now the development of a one‐of‐a‐kind debris database for NASA and DoD to characterize potential debris fields resulting from on‐orbit‐collisions. His talk today discusses will emphasize this project, referred to as DebriSat.

MAE Faculty Host: Larry Ukeiley


Hosted by

UF Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering