Lehrstuhl für Informatik VII - Robotik und Telematik

Space Colloquium Würzburg


Invitation to the Space Colloquium Würzburg titled "Controlling a Satellite under Uncertainty" by Dr. Willem Jordaan on the 14th of July 2022 at 17:00. This event is supported by Elite Network of Bavaria (ENB) and ESA_Lab@ZfT.

Conventional robust systems are created through conservative design choices and very thorough testing. Even in these cases, there are scenarios that the spacecraft will face that was not thought of or designed for. Current satellite constellations may contain many satellites which may induce or experience very unlikely errors. The Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) is one subsystem that is sensitive to uncertainty. These uncertainties might be in the form of unmodelled environmental effects, system behaviour or the state of the system. Following the principle of robustness through adaptability, modern data-driven techniques can be used to reduce the effects of these uncertainties. The question is how to integrate modern techniques responsibly with the current traditional solutions. We have investigated methods and algorithms to improve the performance and reliability of star trackers, extended Kalman filters for attitude estimation, and adaptable attitude control systems.

Live presentation: If you are interested to follow the presentation on premise, please register by sending a short email to Mrs. Frankenberger at Given limited seating, you will receive confirmation by email if you can take part on premise. 

Remote presentation: Interested persons can dial in for the presentation at 

Curriculum Vitae Dr. Willem Jordaan: Willem Jordaan is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Electronic Systems Laboratory within the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He conduct research in control systems for autonomous vehicles with major focus on satellites. Willem holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University with his doctoral thesis: “Deployment and Control of a Spinning Solar Sail” discussing the modelling and control of large spinning and flexible deployables. He has been involved in a number of EU Framework 7 satellite projects in the past, including DeOrbitSail, QB50 and RemoveDebris. He was mainly involved in the development of ADCS hardware and embedded flight software which resulted in co-founding CubeSpace ADCS components. Currently, he is focused on research addressing the problem of controlling satellites and other autonomous vehicles under different sources of uncertainty.

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