35th Cycle Research Projects

Email
livio.agostini.1@phd.unipd.it    

Office
CISAS - Via Venezia 15, 35131, Padova, Italy

Background
Livio Agostini received the B.S degree in Aerospace Engineering and then the M.S. degree in Space and Astronautical Engineering from Sapienza University of Rome. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in Space Sciences, Technologies and Measurements at CISAS, University of Padua. During the M.S. degree he got an internship at INAF-IAPS (Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology) in Rome, where he made an analysis of performance and stability of the JIRAM instrument orbiting around Jupiter on board the NASA JUNO mission.

Research project
The research interests concern the development, modelling and analysis of optical systems for scientific purposes. The Ph.D. research project concerns the characterization and calibration of optical instruments for planetary exploration with application to JANUS and HYPSOS. JANUS is the high-resolution camera that will be on board the ESA JUICE mission. HYPSOS is an instrument of new conception with stereo and hyperspectral capabilities producing 4D data

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Email
alex.caon@phd.unipd.it

Office
stanza nr. 16 quarto piano, dipartimento di ingegneria industriale sede V. Via Venezia, 1 Padova (Pd); Laboratorio di Sistemi Spaziali: stanza nr. 31 terzo piano, dipartimento di ingegneria industriale sede V. Viale Colombo, 5,  Padova (Pd)    

Website
www.alexcaon.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-caon-522970152    

Background
Master degree in Aerospace Engineering. Music, art and 19th century novels enthusiast.     

Research project
The project aims to develop and test an capture interface for space capture performed by robotic arm. The interface shall be adjustable for several satellites dimensions and it shall be equipped with ad –hoc control algorithms.   

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Email
paolo.chioetto@phd.unipd.it    

Office
CNR/IFN Padova, via Trasea 7, Padova

Research project
"Optical Analysis and Design of Space Vis/IR Telescopes and Instruments"   

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Email
simone.difede@studenti.unipd.it

Website
https://www.linkedin.com/in/simone-di-fede/    

Background
DI FEDE CV

Research project
PhD research project description: Optimization of a 50 W Magnetically Enhanced Plasma Thruster. S. Di Fede, Università degli Studi di Padova - CISAS "G. Colombo", Padova, Italy. Recent advances in plasma-based propulsion systems have led to the development of electromagnetic Radio-Frequency (RF) plasma generation and acceleration systems, called Magnetically Enhanced Plasma Thrusters (MEPT) [1]. The purpose of the research project is the performance optimization of a 50 W MEPT. The MEPT can be considered as an electrical propulsion system where the plasma is generated in a Magnetically Enhanced plasma source. The latter consists in a dielectric tube surrounded by coils that generate a magneto-static field (intensity up to 0.15 T) and a RF antenna working in the frequency range 1-50 MHz. The electromagnetic waves produced by the antenna cause the gas to break down and to heat up. The propellant is accelerated afterwards by means of a magnetic nozzle. Specifically, in the region downstream the source outlet, the magneto-static field lines are divergent. This particular magnetic topology induce a conversion of the thermal energy of the plasma into axial acceleration and, in turn, into thrust. Therefore, the propulsive figure of merit (e.g. thrust and specific impulse) of a MEPT are related to the power coupling between the antenna and the plasma along with to the acceleration process in the magnetic nozzle. The optimization of the thruster will be performed with a combined numerical-experimental approach. From a numerical standpoint, the 3D-Virtus code, a numerical tool based on a fluid numerical strategy, will be used to simulate the Magnetically Enhanced plasma source; instead the plume will be simulated with a Particle-In-Cell (PIC) strategy. The thruster will be characterized experimentally in the vacuum facility of the University of Padova by means of a thrust balance to evaluate the propulsive performances, along with Langmuir probes to evaluate the plasma properties (e.g., density and temperature). Initially, 3D-VIRTUS will be adapted to consider new specifications (e.g., Xe plasma). The code will then be validated against experimental results and finally a combined numerical-experimental approach will permit to optimize the Magnetically Enhanced plasma source. Successively, the correct boundary conditions definition will permit to use a PIC code to simulate the plume. After the code experimental validation, a combined numerical-experimental approach will permit to optimize the magnetic nozzle. References [1] M. Magarotto E. Fantino A. Selmo N. Bellomo E. Toson D. Pavarin M. Manente, F. Trezzolani. Regulus: A propulsion platform to boost small satellite missions. Acta Astronautica 157, 2019.

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