Pelayo Peñarroya Rodríguez

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Funding entity and Program: Marie Curie Scholarship within Stardust-R Project and hosted by Deimos Space

PhD Thesis

Intelligent Navigation and Control System for Minor Celestial Body Descent and Ascent


Simone Centuori (Deimos Space SL) and Manuel Sanjurjo (UC3M)


In the next years, the development of an adaptive autonomous system for minor bodies landing will advance the frontier of space exploration of minor celestial objects. Science missions will require safe and reliable landing operations to collect and analyse samples of the surface. These missions are crucial to achieving strategic goals to ascertain the content, origin, and evolution of the solar system. 

The goal of the proposed activity is then: 

  • to investigate innovative adaptive systems for autonomous landing in harsh environments
  • to develop descent/ascent control and navigation systems at minor bodies accounting for high fidelity environment and system models; 
  • to develop strategies to increase system resilience against unexpected events and uncertainties. 

Within 3 years, it is expected to have investigated and evaluated possible techniques and methods to descent, land, and ascent from minor celestial bodies. Based on these results, an experimental tool will be developed first as a technology tester and afterwards applied to one or more relevant study cases. This tool should include GNC, and FDIR algorithms that ensure the robustness of the whole process.

Project participation

Stardust-R – Stardust Reloaded project within EU H2020 MSCA ITN

EU H2020 Grant agreement: 813644

Research Stays

  • 3 months at Politecnico di Milano

Institutions: Robotics Innovation Center – DFKI GmbH
Department/Group: Underactuated Robotics
HostMarko Jankovic
Period: from to April 2022 to July 2022

Doctoral Meetings 2021-2022

PhD Aerospace Engineering Doctoral Meetings 21-22 P. Peñayorra

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