Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Jekan Thanga heads the Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration (SpaceTREx) Laboratory. Jekan has a background in aerospace engineering from the University of Toronto. He worked on Canadarm, Canadarm 2 and the DARPA Orbital Express missions at MDA Space Missions. Jekan obtained his Ph.D. in space robotics at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) and did a postdoc at MIT's Field and Space Robotics Laboratory (FSRL).
Jekan is broadly interested in the exploration and utilization of Space, using:
- CubeSats and Small Spacecrafts
- Swarms/Networks/Constellations of Robots
- Field Sensor Networks
His research covers the investigation of fundamental theoretical concepts with simulation using computational tools, culminating with field trials and deployment. His research focuses on developing system design and control technologies, that enables:
- Machine Learning, AI and Autonomous Control
- Science Instrumentation for Exploration
- Smart Structures and Deployables
He also teams up with other researchers to apply the latest in space technology to terresterial applications including:
- Construction and 3D Printing
- Energy Exploration
- Environmental monitoring
His team uses multidisciplinary optimization using a combination of conventional, adaptive and machine learning methods resulting in high performance, unconventional design and control solutions that would otherwise not be envisioned by a human designer.
He has authored or co-authored 90+ peer-reviewed publications and is currently the Engineering PI on two CubeSat missions, the US Air Force funded SWIMSat Mission and AOSAT 1, a CubeSat Centrifuge Laboratory. Jekan and his students won a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award in 2016 and a Tech Briefs Top 5 Award in the Aerospace/Defense category for the SunCube FemtoSat platform.
AME 250 (Fall 2017)
Dynamics Of Machines
AME 352 (Spring 2019)
AME 352 (Spring 2018)
Aerospace Conceptual Design
AME 420 (Fall 2018)
Aircraft Conceptual Dsgn
AME 520 (Fall 2018)
AME 900 (Fall 2018)
AME 900 (Spring 2018)
AME 900 (Fall 2017)
AME 909 (Spring 2018)
AME 910 (Spring 2019)
AME 910 (Fall 2018)
AME 920 (Fall 2018)
AME 920 (Spring 2018)
- Thangavelautham, J. (2018). Degradation in PEM Fuel Cells and Mitigation Strategies Using System Design and Control. In Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell(p. 28). London, UK: IntechOpen.
- Robinson, M., Thangavelautham, J., Anderson, B., Deran, A., Lawrence, S., Wagner, R., Ridenoure, R., Williams, B., Dunham, D., Babuscia, A., Cheung, K., & Genova, A. (2018). Swirl: Unravelling an Enigma. Planetary and Space Sciences Special Issue, 14.
- Thangavelautham, J. (2019). Motion Planning on an Asteroid Surface with Irregular Gravity Fields. AAS GNC Conference.
- Asphaug, E., Thangavelautham, J., Klesh, A., Chandra, A., Nallapu, R., Raura, L., Herreras-Martinez, M., & Schwartz, S. (2017). A cubesat centrifuge for long duration milligravity research. Nature Microgravity, 5.
- Lightholder, J., Thoesen, A., Adamson, E., Jakubowski, J., Nallapu, R., Smallwood, S., Raura, L., Klesh, A., Asphaug, E., & Thangavelautham, J. (2017). Asteroid Origins Satellite 1: An On-orbit CubeSat Centrifuge Science Laboratory. Acta Astronautica, 133, 14.
- Thangavelautham, J. (2017). The Design of Long-Life, High-Efficiency PEM Fuel Cell Power Supplies for Low Power Sensor Networks. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 19.
- Thangavelautham, J., Law, K., Fu, T., El Samid, N. A., Smith, A., & D'Eleuterio, G. (2017). Autonomous Multirobot Excavation for Lunar Applications. Robotica, 33.
- Kalita, H., Asphaug, E., & Thangavelautham, J. (2018, 01). Mobility and Science operations On An Asteroid Using a Hopping Small Spacecraft on Stilts. In AAS GNC Conference.
- Kalita, H., Vance, L., Reddy, V., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 01). Use of Laser Beams to Configure and Command Spacecraft Swarms. In AAS GNC Conference.
- Bouskela, A., Chandra, A., Shakarayev, S., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 01). Attitude Control of an Inflatable Sailplane for Mars Exploration. In AAS GNC Conference.
- Chandra, A., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 01). De-orbiting Small Satellites Using Inflatables. In Space Traffic Management Conference.
- Chandra, A., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 02). Modular Inflatable Composites for Space Telescopes. In IEEE Aerospace.
- Chandra, A., Kalita, H., Furfaro, R., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 01). End to End Satellite Servicing and Space Debris Management. In Space Traffic Management Conference.
- Chandra, A., Thangavelautham, J., & Babuscia, A. (2018, 11). Composite Inflatable Antennas for Small-Satellite and Backup Communication. In 24th Ka-band and Broadband Communications Conference.
- Chandra, A., Wilburn, G., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 01). Advanced Inflatable De-Orbit Solutions for Derelict Satellites and Orbital Debris. In Space Traffic Management Conference.
- Kalita, H., Furfaro, R., & Thangavelautham, J. (2018, 08). Satellite Capture and Servicing Using Networks of Tethered Robots Supported by Ground Surveillance. In Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference.
- Kalita, H., Morad, S., & Thangavelautham, J. (2018, 05). Path Planning and Navigation Inside Off-World Lava Tubes and Caves. In IEEE ION PLANS.
- Kalita, H., Vance, L., Reddy, V., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 01). Laser Communication and Coordination Control of Spacecraft Swarms. In Space Traffic Management.
- Martinez, J., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 01). Propelling Interplanetary Spacecraft Utilizing Water-Steam. In AAS GNC Conference.
- Morad, S., Kalita, H., & Thangavelautham, J. (2018, 05). Planning and Navigation of Climbing Robots in Low-Gravity Environments. In IEEE IONS Conferences.
- Morad, S., Kalita, H., Reddy, V., Furfaro, R., Asphaug, E., & Thangavelautham, J. (2018, 08). On-Orbit Smart Camera System to Observe Illuminated and Unilluminated Space Objects. In Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference,.
- Nallapu, R., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019, 01). Attitude Control of Spacecraft Swarms for Visual Mapping of Planetary Bodies. In AAS GNC Conference.
- Thangavelautham, J. (2018, August). Sustainable and Green Power Sources for Long Duration Environment Monitoring. Encyclopedia of Renewable and Sustainable Materials by Elsevier.
- Best Student Paper and Presentation Award (3rd place)
- AAS Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, 2019, Winter 2018
- MBR Mars Settlement Challenge
- Dubai Future Foundation (Guaana), Spring 2018
- Tech Briefs Design the Future 2017, Top 5 in Aerospace/Defense
- Tech Briefs Magazine, Fall 2017
- HeroX (X-Prize Spin-off) CubeSat Challenge Winner
- HeroX/ US Military/ NASA, Fall 2017
- Frank J. Redd Small Satellite Student Competition Winner (3rd Place)
- AIAA/USU Small Satellite Conference, Summer I 2017
- Co-author, Best Student Paper and Presentation Award (2nd place) at the 40th AAS Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, 2017
- AAS GNC Student Paper Committee, Spring 2017
- Advisor for Garrett Fleetwood, winner of Outstanding Honors Thesis, 2017
- Arizona State University School of Energy Matter and Transport Engineering (SEMTE), Spring 2017
- Top Achievements of the Year - Arizona State University 2016 Year in Review
- Arizona State University, Spring 2017
- Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award
- Popular Mechanics Magazine, Fall 2016