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Daniele Mortari

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Professor, Texas A&M University

Dott. Daniele Mortari is Full Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, working on the field of spacecraft dynamics and control and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses. In addition, he has taught at the Aerospace School of Engineering of Rome’s University, and at Electronic Engineering of Perugia’s University. He has received his dottore degree in Nuclear Engineering from University of Rome “La Sapienza”, in 1981. He graduated 11 Doctorate and 14 Master students. He has published more than 220 papers, delivered more than 55 invited seminars, holds U.S. patents, and has been widely recognized for his work, including receiving Best Paper Award from 20-th Space Flight Mechanics Conference, two NASA’s Group Achievement Awards, the 2003 Spacecraft Technology Center Award, and the prestigious 2007 IEEE Judith A. Resnik Award. He is American Astronautical Society (AAS) Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Associate Fellow, IEEE Senior Member, IEEE Distinguish Speaker, and Honorary Member of IEEE-AESS Space System Technical Panel. He is member of the AAS Space Flight Mechanics Technical Committee, and he is Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, of Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, of International Journal of Navigation and Observations, and of Frontiers in Aerospace Engineering.


Dott. Mortari has received research grants from US Institutions (NSF, AFRL, NASA-JSC, NASA-LaRC, NASA-MSFC, AeroAstro, SAIC), and from European Institutions (ESA, ASI). In particular, he has made important contributions mainly in two key areas of specialization: 1) spacecraft attitude and orbit estimation and 2) spacecraft constellations design. His contributions are in both theory and practice. One of his star identification algorithms (Pyramid) has been widely adopted and recognized as the gold standard for both efficiency and reliability. He also has solved the related problem of determining the best estimate of spacecraft orientation and orbit from vectors observation (ESOQ1, ESOQ2, EAA, OLAE). In particular, he has developed robust and accurate space-based orbit determination algorithms, and developed an entirely new class of spacecraft constellations, the Flower Constellations. This general new framework to design satellite constellations opens the new area of shape-preserving constellations and increases the dimensionality of the current solutions for space missions such as global or regional observation, space observation, global navigation, communications, reconnaissance and surveillance, and radio occultation missions. In addition, he has made contributions to other areas, such as sensor and image data processing, estimation, positioning systems, matrix analysis, navigation, trajectory optimization, tracking systems, space debris removal, and space situational awareness problems.

Additional and updated information on Dott. Mortari’s research and scientific activities can be found on the website:

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Space Systems
Contact Information
+1 (979) 845-0734
+1 (979) 845-6051
College Station
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Award Citation: 
For innovative designs of orbiting spacecraft constellations, and efficient algorithms for star identification and spacecraft attitude estimation.

Field of Interest

“The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, military, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control."


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