Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Michael C. F. Bazzocchi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Luleå University of Technology. He is a member of the Onboard Space Systems group in the Division of Space Technology.
Michael has received a PhD in Aerospace Science & Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), and has a BASc in EngSci from the University of Toronto in aerospace engineering. His PhD research topic was on a spacecraft formation approach to asteroid redirection for resource utilization.
Michael worked for RHEA Canada as a spacecraft concurrent design engineer on the Canadian Space Agency satCODE project. He is also currently an executive and on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Space Society.
- Asteroid Science and Engineering: As part of his postdoctoral work, Michael is working to establish the new Asteroid Engineering Laboratory with the Onboard Space Systems group. The focus of the center is research and education in the areas of asteroid science, exploration, redirection, dynamics, and prospecting. Michael is also actively engaged in these research areas, with past work focusing on asteroid mission design, redirection, detumbling, and control.
- Orbital Dynamics and Control: Research into trajectory planning and controlled transfer of asteroids is essential to both the challenge of redirection for resource utilization, and deflection for planetary protection. Michael’s current research focuses on the study of near-Earth asteroid orbits, low-thrust redirection methods, transfer trajectory design, capture orbits, hovering in the near-vicinity of an asteroid, and landing on an asteroid.
- Spacecraft Formation Design and Control: Michael’s research investigates the application of multiple spacecraft strategies to the task of exploring, redirecting, and controlling asteroids. Through the use and optimization of heterogenous or homogenous teams of spacecraft, many potential benefits can arise for asteroid missions. In particular, past research has explored the use of hovering formations and landed configurations of spacecraft for asteroid redirection and control.
- Robotics and Space Debris Removal: The use of space robotics for the attachment to, sampling from, and retrieval of asteroid materials is of particular interest. Research into the design and analysis of tools and technologies to complete these tasks can be challenging, given the uncertainty in asteroid characteristics. Further, the application of redirection and attachment technologies to the task of space debris removal is an area of ongoing research.
- Engineering Design, Pedagogy, and Curriculum Design: Research in asteroid engineering is cutting-edge and, as such, necessitates investigating, designing, and applying new engineering design approaches. Systematic design and assessment of asteroid engineering technologies requires the application of various new engineering design methodologies, cost and risk models, aggregation techniques, and optimization methods. Additionally, Michael is exploring the development of new asteroid engineering courses and curricula.