orbital computational image

This area involves study and research in the applications of orbital mechanics and remote sensing in the context of spacecraft and celestial bodies. Applications and customers include NASA, military, a variety of governmental agencies, and the rapidly growing commercial space industry.

Research in spaceflight mechanics includes trajectory and mission design, nonlinear optimization, numerical methods, perturbations, dynamical systems theory, high fidelity simulation, and high performance computing. Research in nonlinear estimation provides observable properties of dynamical systems in order to enable autonomous operations of spacecraft and ground-based tracking for satellite applications and situational awareness. Research in space domain awareness and space traffic management seeks to develop and deliver the decision-making science for the space community. 

Example topics include space object detection, tracking, identification, and characterization via multi-source information collection, curation, and fusion. Research in satellite applications include the development of space geodetic and both active and passive satellite remote sensing techniques, such as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), laser and microwave tracking of satellites, and the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Application areas include measurement and interpretation of global Earth System variables such as the gravity field, loading, Earth rotation, and terrestrial reference frames; their application to research in the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, and hydrosphere, as well as their mutual interactions; and GNSS signals, assurance, and applications for navigation and precise positioning.

Research is supported by a large database of satellite remote sensing measurements, state-of-the-art high performance computing resources, GPS receivers, and image processing equipment.

grace-fo twin satellites

GRACE-FO is Earth's Friend

The GRACE-FO satellites were successfully deployed in May 2018. Learn more about the mission and UT Austin's efforts, led by Srinivas Bettadpur, director of the Center for Space Research.

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arctic tundra image

Mapping Arctic Tundra

PhD student Sophy Wu is conducting summer fieldwork in Alaska under the direction of Professor Ann Chen. The project aims to advance NASA’s observation capability from space coupled with on-the-ground validation measurements to understand the hydrologic dynamics in thawing permafrost..

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space debris image

Space is the Next Frontier for Environmentalism

Associate Professor Moriba Jah authored this op-ed piece in the Dallas Morning News on the growing number of space objects orbiting Earth.

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geodetic observatory image

Center for Space Research to Lead New McDonald Geodetic Observatory

Professor Srinivas Bettadpur was instrumental in establishing a UT-NASA partnership for the next-generation McDonald Geodetic Observatory which will be led by UT's Center for Space Research.

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gps accuracy car module

VIDEO: Keeping the Car in its Lane

Professor Todd Humphreys' research work on super accurate GPS may soon solve many driverless car issues, including blurred lane markings and bad weather.

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