The aerospace industry has experienced a dramatic shift over the last decade: Flying a spacecraft has gone from something only national governments and large defense contractors could afford to something a small startup can accomplish on a shoestring budget. A virtuous cycle has developed where lower costs have led to more launches and the growth of new markets for space-based data. However, many barriers remain. This talk will focus on driving these trends to their ultimate limit by harnessing advances in electronics, planning, and control to build spacecraft that cost less than a new smartphone and can be deployed in large numbers.
Zac Manchester is an Assistant Professor in The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon and leads the Robotic Exploration Lab. His research spans control, motion planning, and optimization, with applications to robotic space exploration, legged locomotion, and autonomous driving. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Agile Robotics Lab at Harvard. Zac holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Cornell University, is a member of the Breakthrough Starshot Advisory Committee, and was a recipient of the 2018 NASA Early Career Faculty Award and a 2020 Google Faculty Award.
Faculty Host: Red Whittaker
Zoom Participation. See announcement.