Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Jekan Thanga heads the Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration (SpaceTREx) Laboratory and the NASA-supported ASTEROIDS (Asteroid Science, Technology and Exploration Research Organized by Inclusive eDucation Systems) 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 nearly 150 technical 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 (Spring 2020)
AME 250 (Fall 2017)
Dynamics Of Machines
AME 352 (Fall 2019)
AME 352 (Spring 2019)
AME 352 (Spring 2018)
Aerospace Conceptual Design
AME 420 (Fall 2021)
AME 420 (Fall 2020)
AME 420 (Fall 2019)
AME 420 (Fall 2018)
AME 492 (Spring 2020)
AME 492 (Spring 2019)
Aircraft Conceptual Dsgn
AME 520 (Fall 2021)
AME 520 (Fall 2020)
AME 520 (Fall 2019)
AME 520 (Fall 2018)
AME Special Topics
AME 596 (Spring 2021)
AME 596 (Spring 2020)
AME 696G (Fall 2020)
AME 900 (Spring 2021)
AME 900 (Fall 2020)
AME 900 (Spring 2020)
AME 900 (Fall 2019)
AME 900 (Spring 2019)
AME 900 (Fall 2018)
AME 900 (Spring 2018)
AME 900 (Fall 2017)
AME 909 (Spring 2021)
AME 909 (Spring 2020)
AME 909 (Spring 2019)
AME 909 (Spring 2018)
AME 910 (Spring 2021)
AME 910 (Fall 2020)
AME 910 (Spring 2020)
AME 910 (Fall 2019)
AME 910 (Spring 2019)
AME 910 (Fall 2018)
AME 920 (Spring 2021)
AME 920 (Fall 2020)
AME 920 (Spring 2020)
AME 920 (Fall 2019)
AME 920 (Spring 2019)
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.
- Kalita, H., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020). Exploration of Extreme Environments with Current and Emerging Robot Systems. Current Robotic Reports, 15.
- Nallapu, R., Dektor, G., Kenia, N., Uglietta, J., Ichikawa, S., Choudhary, A., Herreras-Martinez, M., Asphaug, E., Chandra, A., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020). Perseus: A CubeSat Mission to Phobos. Aerospace Journal, 14.
- Nallapu, R., Schwartz, S., Thangavelautham, J., & Asphaug, E. (2020). Attitude Determination and Control of the AOSAT+ Mission Concept. IEEE Journal on Miniaturization for Air and Space Systems.
- Nallpu, R., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020). Design and Sensitivity Analysis of Spacecraft Swarms for Planetary Moon Reconnaissance through Co-orbits. Acta Astronautica, 30.
- Staehle, R., Babuscia, A., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020). A Solar-powered Outer Solar System SmallSat (OS4) Architecture Defined. Journal of Small Satellites, 10.
- Thangavelautham, J., & Kalita, H. (2020). Automated Design of CubeSats using Evolutionary Algorithm for Trade Space Selection. Aerospace Journal, 20.
- Thangavelautham, J., & Nallapu, R. (2020). An Automated Design Architecture for Visual Mapping Flyby Missions of Spacecraft Swarms to Planetary Moons. Advances in Space Research, 22.
- 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.
- Aldava, F., Kalita, H., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 05/2020). Beyond Touch and Go: Evolving Bipedal Walking Maneuvers for a Spacecraft on Stilts to Explore Asteroid Surfaces. In Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference.
- Anderson, S., Marquez, A., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 05/2021). Solar 3D Printing of Structures for Off-World Bases. In Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference.
- Bouskela, A., Kling, A., Shkarayev, S. V., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 11-12 May). Aerial Reconnaissance of Canyons and Craters on Mars Using Sailplanes. In Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference.
- Centers, R., al., e., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 10/2020). Development of a Laser Power Beaming Demonstration for CLPS Landers. In International Astronautic Congress.
- Chandra, A., Thangavelautham, J., & Babuscia, A. (2020, 01/2020). Inflatable Membrane Structures for Small Satellites. In Journal of Small Satellites.
- Diaz, A., Center, R., Schertz, J., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 05/2020). Use of Lasers and FemtoSats to Explore the Lunar Permanently Shadowed Regions. In Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference.
- Diaz, A., Vance, L., Kalita, H., & Thangavelautham, J. (2021, 01/2021). FemtoSats for Exploring Permanently Shadowed Regions on the Moon. In AAS Space Flight Mechanics 2021, 15.
- Himangshu, K., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 03/2020). Dynamics and Control of a Hopping Robot for Extreme Environment Exploration on the Moon and Mars. In IEEE Aerospace 2020.
- Kalita, H., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 01/2020). Multidisciplinary Design and Control Optimization of a Spherical Robot for Planetary Exploration. In AIAA SciTech 2020.
- Kalita, H., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 02/2020). Mobility, Power and Thermal Control of SphereX for Planetary Exploration. In AAS Guidance and Control Conference 2020.
- Kalita, H., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 11/2020). Design for Long Duration Missions Using a Team of SphereX Robots. In International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space 2020.
- Kalita, H., & Thangavelautham, J. (2021, 01/2021). Advancing Asteroid Surface Mobility Using Machine Learning and the SPIKE Spacecraft Concept. In AAS Space Flight Mechanics 2021, 14.
- Kalita, H., Aldava, F., Asphaug, E. I., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 02/2020). Evolving Design and Mobility of a Spacecraft on Stilts to Explore Asteroids. In AAS Guidance and Control Conference 2020.
- Kalita, H., Jameson, T., George, S., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 03/2020). Design and Control of a Mechanical Hopping Mechanism Suited for Exploring Low-gravity Environments. In IEEE Aerospace 2020.
- Kwon, B., & Thangavelautham, J. (2020, 02/2020). Decentralized Spacecraft Swarms for Inspection of Large Space Structures. In AAS Guidance and Control Conference 2020.
- Thangavelautham, J. (2018, August). Sustainable and Green Power Sources for Long Duration Environment Monitoring. Encyclopedia of Renewable and Sustainable Materials by Elsevier.
- NASA Big Team - Top 10 National Finalist and winner of Collaboration Award
- NASA Big Competition Judges, Spring 2020
- Outstanding Aerospace Graduate Student, Ravi Nallapu
- AME Graduate Committee, Fall 2019
- Subject Matter Expert (SME) Fellowship, AI and Counter Cyber for Autonomous Unmanned Collective Control by US Special Forces
- SOFWERX (US Special Forces Research Arm), Fall 2019
- Outstanding Aerospace Undergrad Student, Jesse Samitas
- AME Undergrad Committee, Fall 2019
- ASEE Teaching Award
- College of Engineering, Spring 2019
- Best Student Paper and Presentation Award (3rd Place)
- AAS GNC Technical Committee, Spring 2019
- Best Paper Presentation Award
- Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference Technical Committee, Spring 2019
- 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
- Advisor for Garrett Fleetwood, winner of Outstanding Honors Thesis, 2017
- Arizona State University School of Energy Matter and Transport Engineering (SEMTE), Spring 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
- 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