The Space Rendezvous Laboratory (SLAB) performs fundamental and applied research at the intersection of Astrodynamics and Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) to enable future distributed space systems.
These include spacecraft formation-flying, rendezvous and docking, swarms, and fractionated space architectures. Multisatellite systems will help address fundamental questions of space science, technology and exploration. To respond to the ever increasing demand of positioning accuracy posed by these missions, SLAB's objective is to develop, validate and embed the necessary cutting-edge technologies into a formation of autonomous nanosatellites. To this end, high-fidelity hardware-in-the-loop testbeds are under development, which include spaceborne radio-frequency and optical navigation sensors. The experience available at SLAB in the implementation and flight operations of GNC subsystems for formation-flying and on-orbit servicing missions, together with strategic national and international partnerships, will pave the way for breakthrough demonstrations of new technology.