monday 29 Aprile 2024Dalle 14:15Reaching for the Moon: trajectory optimization & on-board guidance design for the ESA Argonaut mission


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Event Details

In this seminar, the preliminary design of the descent and landing trajectory and guidance algorithms of the ESA Argonaut lunar lander are presented.
Starting from the mission scenario, driving system and propulsion constraints, as well as safe landing requirements, a multi-phase fuel-optimal trajectory with divert capabilities is derived.
A sub-optimal descent and landing trajectory is then engineered taking as a starting point the optimal one, and the related onboard guidance algorithms are designed and presented.
It is shown that the proposed end-to-end guidance solution represents an easily implementable alternative to on-board optimization, minimizing the verification & validation effort, computational footprint, and programmatic risk in the development of the related GN&C capabilities.
Conclusions are drawn on the applicability of the proposed approach to ESA’s Argonaut mission.


Francesco Capolupo graduated in Space Engineering in 2012 from Politecnico di Milano and ISAE-Supaero, with a Master’s thesis carried out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He spent 8 years working at Airbus Defence and Space as a Senior GNC Specialist, notably contributing to in-orbit servicing activities and to the design of the Mars Sample Return – Earth Return Orbiter GNC subsystem. In 2020 he joined the European Space Agency, where he now serves as GNC Systems Engineer supporting Argonaut, ExoMars, and Ariane 6 developments, and supervising multiple R&D activities in the field of Vision-Based Navigation and AI.

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Date e orari

lunedì 29 Aprile 2024
Dalle 14:15


Politecnico di Milano - Sala Consiglio, DAER, Building B12

Via La Masa, 34 - 20156 Milano


Politecnico di Milano