Aerospace Centre of ExcellenceAdvanced Space Concepts Laboratory

The Advanced Space Concepts Lab is a cross-cutting research unit that aims to perform and lead research on advanced space concepts and technologies, addressing the challenges of future space missions.

The Advanced Space Concepts Lab (ASCL) is structured around key areas including spaceflight mechanics, GNC & autonomy, and space systems. The lab is led by Prof Massimiliano Vasile and has grown to include over 20 researchers.

ASCL is developing advanced concepts and current solutions from nano-satellites to self-assembling spacecraft, from asteroid manipulation, debris removal to motorised tethers and advanced forms of propulsion including solar sails, laser propulsions, micro-electric propulsion, from hardware in the loop testing and validation of new payloads to new approaches to space systems engineering and concurrent engineering methodologies for end to end mission design.

A diverse spectrum of key expertise includes new types of orbits for space applications, analytical and semi-analytical solutions for long term orbit propagation, high precision high fidelity orbit propagation, trajectory design and optimisation, constellation deployment and reconfiguration, swarm dynamics, fault tolerant distributed autonomous navigation and control, proximity navigation, information fusion for autonomy, autonomous planning and scheduling. 

ASCL has been awarded several key research projects from European Commission, and works closely with European Space Agency and UK Space Agency, as well as space industry, and will continue to play its significant roles in both academia and industry.