On the 12th of February, Davide Menzio had his PhD Defence at Politecnico di Milano, where he successfully defended his PhD thesis “Search-grid applications for trajectory design in presence of flyby”. This work applies grid-search approaches for the identification of feasible flybys, with the primary objective to reduce the computational effort associated to the scanning of the search space by following three steps: the recombination of the search spaces associated to the pre- and post-encounter trajectories, the switch from an epoch-based parametrisation of the search space to an orbital elements formulation, and the pruning of the search space, based on bounding regions defined by delta-v levels and orbital elements variations derived for limiting cases of the flyby. Finally, the 3D Flyby map uses a non-linear mapping in modified orbital elements to study flybys in the circular restricted three-body problem.
The three years of PhD have been full of emotions for Davide and his family. His first son, Ilyas, arrived in the first year and the second kid is in the pipeline. Besides family commitments, Davide spent nine months at JPL for a visiting period, attended three conferences and two training schools, gave several presentations and seminars all over the world.
Davide would like to thank his supervisor Prof. Camilla Colombo and Politecnico di Milano for giving him this opportunity and the COMPASS project and the Ermenegildo Zegna group for supporting him during this journey. Moreover, he would like to thank his JPL mentor, Dr. Stefano Campagnola, for the guidance during his visiting period, and the examiners Prof. Giulio Avanzini and Dr. Martin Lara for taking the time to review his work and for giving him meaningful feedback.