Fabrizio Scortecci

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Nonlinear estimation techniques play a crucial role in any autonomous navigation system (e.g., see [1—3]). It is a fact that many of the problems to be faced in order to achieve full autonomy can be cast as estimation problems. Among others, the ability of estimating the position of a spacecraft from the information provided by its onboard sensors(More)
Recent technological advances in the development of electric microthrusters pave the way to the successful diffusion of all-electric spacecraft. Since pointing accuracy is a key requirement for space platforms, suitable control systems accounting for the peculiarity of electric on/off actuators have to be devised. In this paper, an attitude control system(More)
This paper deals with spacecraft autonomous navigation in deep space missions. The considered problem is that of spacecraft localization based on angular measurements. The dynamic model of the spacecraft accounts for several perturbing effects, such as Earth and Moon gravitational field asymmetry and errors associated with the Moon ephemerides. The(More)
A pulsed arc heater was designed and manufactured at Centrospazio to equip a new hypersonic high-enthalpy blow-down wind tunnel capable of producing flows with a specific total enthalpy up to 2.5 MJ/kg. The heater mainly consists of two coaxial electrodes, separated by a constrictor, and a plenum chamber. The flow is heated by an electric arc ignited(More)
The preliminary experimental characterization of the flow field developing in the test section of a small high enthalpy arc-heated Mach 6 tunnel has been carried out in terms of Mach number and local flow velocity angle. Measurements have mainly been obtained in cold flow conditions (no arc), though a limited number of tests has also been performed in hot(More)
Pointing accuracy is a key requirement in communication satellites and Earth observation missions. Attitude control systems must guarantee tracking of the reference attitude and angular rate, while accounting for mission performance indexes such as fuel consumption and actuator wear. In this paper, an MPC-based attitude control scheme is proposed for an(More)
Experimental tests have been carried out to analyze the effect of wall-to-total temperature ratio on the characteristics of a fully laminar shock-wave/boundary-layer interaction in a Mach 6 high enthalpy flow. Test cases were run in a new high-enthalpy arc-heated wind tunnel developed at Centrospazio in the framework of the ESA/FESTIP program. In order to(More)
We present an advanced diagnostic system for in situ characterization of electric propulsion thrusters and ion beam sources. The system uses a high-precision five-axis positioning system with a modular setup and the following diagnostic tools: a telemicroscopy head for optical imaging, a triangular laser head for surface profile scanning, a pyrometer for(More)
A pulsed arc heater was designed, manufactured and installed in Centrospazio laboratory to equip a newly developed hypersonic, high-enthalpy, small-scale blow-down wind tunnel. The facility operates with air in the low to medium Reynolds number range (10∼10) and is capable of producing Mach 6 air flows, with a specific total enthalpy up to 3 MJ/kg, on an 60(More)
Maintaining the attitude of a spacecraft precisely aligned to a given orientation is crucial for commercial and scientific space missions. The problem becomes challenging when on/off thrusters are employed instead of momentum exchange devices due to, e.g., wheel failures or power limitations. In this case, the attitude control system must enforce an(More)