Astrodynamics Committee (2018-2021)
Objective/Scope of the Committee
The Astrodynamics Technical Committee (TC) has the mandate of promoting advances in orbital mechanics, attitude dynamics, guidance, navigation and control of single or multi-spacecraft systems as well as space robotics. To this end, the TC is responsible for the organisation of the Astrodynamics Symposium in the IAC as well as of special events (e.g., workshops).
The Astrodynamics TC is a vibrant and amicable committee. We expect each TC member participates in the committee in a positive and active way and contributes to the success. The following are some examples of demonstrating an active participation in the committee:
- Sharing the load on the abstract evaluation;
- Attendance of the IPC Spring Meeting;
- Attendance of the IAC and the committee meetings during that time;
- Support the technical session as either the Chair/Co-Chair or as the rapporteur;
- Recommendation of potential candidate(s);
- Expend the effort in other TC responsibilities such as organising John V. Breakwell Lecture and contributing to the drafting of the UN Annual Report on Highlights in Space.
Committee rules for membership applications and renewal
The general process to become a member is as follows:
- Each TC member can recommend candidate(s) to the committee for consideration. The minimum criterion for each candidate is demonstrated significant contribution to the advances of astrodynamics. Regular attendance and participation to Committee meetings and events is required, and in particular the annual IAC Astrodynamics Symposium.
- The Committee chair will then contact the candidate asking for his/her interest to join and to provide a CV for consideration.
- The Chair will then circulate the CV to all committee members and seek their opinion on his/her qualification as well as suitability.
- If the general consensus is positive, the Chair will contact the candidate directly inviting him/her to attend the IAC as an observer (and possibly the IPC Spring Meeting).
- The candidate should attend the events as an observer in order for the committee members get to know the candidate and vice versa.
- A vote is held, usually at the IAC, by the existing members to determine whether the candidate be accepted as a new member. In general, the candidate remains as an observer during one or two IAC.
- The current committee consists of full (elected) members from academia, industry and government agencies. Geographic distribution is also a factor in the make-up of the committee. The minimum number of members is such that each session of the IAC Symposium can be managed by 2 Co-Chairs only, with the Committee Chair and his Vice-Chair as additional members. As for the maximum number, it is assuming 2 Co-Chairs and 1 rapporteur per session. With currently 9 sessions to manage, the Committee should then have a minimum of 20 (9×2+2) members and a maximum of 29 (9×3+2) members. Practically, the number is chosen so that Observers can be proposed to the rapporteur positions on available slots.
A Membership list is provided in the appendix, with 26 members in 2012.
The term for each member is 3 years. If the member remains active (see Roles & Responsibilities) in the first term, the membership is automatically renewed for one more term. At the end of two terms, the member will retire from the committee. In principle, after 1 year of hiatus, a former member can be invited again to join the committee. The number of returning member is kept low to give new promising researchers or engineers an opportunity to participate. As such, we are constantly looking for excellent candidates to join the committee. To be transparent and fair, a list of possible candidates to the Observer status is maintained and updated regularly under the responsibility of the TC Chair. The IAF does not provide any financial support to the TC. All TC members pay for their travel and living expenses as well as the IAC registration fees. As such, each potential member must take into consideration whether he/she has the financial means to attend IPC and/or IAC.
Chair & Vice-Chair
Vice-Chair of TC is elected by TC members for a 3 year mandate. After completion of his mandate, the Vice-Chair automatically becomes the TC Chair for a 3 year mandate (i.e., without election) while a new vice-Chair is elected for 3 years. The coaching of the Vice-Chair by the Chair, as well as the good coordination between them, are absolutely essential for the continuity and the efficiency of the Committee functioning, After completion of his/her mandate, the Chair must leave the Committee for a minimum of of 1 year. Finally, the Vice-Chair and Chair positions should not be occupied by members that have already held these positions in the past.
Key responsibilities of the Chair
- Coordinate and consult with the IAF on all matters related to the TC;
- Organize the meetings at the IPC and at the IAC;
- Invite candidate member to the IPC and the IAC;
- Invoke membership of inactive members;
- Distribute meeting minutes and, more generally, all documents needed by members to efficiently complete their collective work.
Key responsibilities of the Vice-Chair
- Assist the Chair in all matters;
- Draft the meeting minutes for the IPC Spring Meeting and the TC Meetings at the IAC;
- Work with members at the IPC in finalising the abstract selection.
Symposiums/Sessions at the IAC
The organisation of the IAC Astrodynamics Symposium is the primary responsibility of the committee. The task for the organisation has two elements: selection of abstracts and organising the technical sessions at the International Program Committee (IPC) meeting in spring, and chairing technical sessions and evaluating the presentations at the IAC.
The IPC meeting is usually held in the third week of March in Paris. In terms of number of abstracts received, the Astrodynamics Symposium always ranks at or close to the top, averaging over 200 abstracts submitted under four broad categories (or meta-sessions): Mission Design, Operations & Optimization, Orbital Dynamics, Attitude Dynamics and Guidance, Navigation & Control. To draw a balance between the quality and the number of accepted presentations, the TC decided that the Astrodynamics Symposium be limited to 9 technical sessions of 3 hours each. GNC occupies 3 sessions while the other three meta-sessions occupy 2 each for the grand total of 9.
Technical meetings or events outside of the IAC
John V. Breakwell Memorial Lecture
It was initiated by the late Prof. V.J. Modi of UBC in 1991 as a tribute to the late Prof. John V. Breakwell (1917–1991) of Stanford University, who is regarded as an outstanding astrodynamicist of the last century. In each IAC, a respected astrodynamicist is invited to give a lecture (usually 30 minutes or two time slots) in one of the technical sessions. The invitee is searched and recommended by a subcommittee within the Astrodynamics TC. Every TC member is welcome to make a recommendation.
International Workshop on Satellite Constellation & Formation Flying (IWSCFF)
IWSCFF is a special event organised by the Astrodynamics TC to address the growing interest in the field of satellite constellation and formation flying. The first IWSCFF was held in Toulouse, France (1997) followed by Haifa, Israel (2001), Pisa, Italy (2003), São José dos Campos, Brazil (2005), Evpatoria, Ukraine (2008) and Taipei, Republic of China (2010). The next was held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2013. The organisation of the workshop was undertaken by an ad hoc committee, a group of volunteers from the Astrodynamics TC.
Juan Carlos Bastante
Igor V. Belokonov
Xiao Qian Chen
Jean de Lafontaine
Anton de Ruiter
Josep J. Masdemont
Miguel Belló Mora
Yong Chun Xie