Princeton Satellite Systems

Virtual Exhibit Booth:

April 27–29, 2021 @ 8AM-9:30AM PT | @ 2PM-4PM PT


Our MATLAB products are used worldwide by CubeSat developer teams and by major aerospace organizations.

Michael Paluszek


I’m currently working on spacecraft optical navigation, superconducting electric motors and nuclear fusion space propulsion.

I’m writing a new book for Elsevier, “Attitude Determination and Control Systems.” It is scheduled for publication in March, 2022.

Stephanie Thomas

Vice President

I was the PI on the NIAC contract to design a nuclear fusion propelled Pluto orbiter. I’m the PI on the NASA STTR to test superconducting coils for nuclear fusion engineers. I’ve done a lot of work on solar sails and formation flying

Princeton Satellite Systems

Princeton Satellite Systems works on advanced space and energy systems. Some of our current projects are space nuclear fusion propulsion, spacecraft optical navigation and superconducting motors for electric aircraft.

Nuclear Fusion Propulsion
We have toolboxes for this too!

Toolbox Projects

Designing a Lunar Return Mission in the Spacecraft Control Toolbox

You can design complete missions in the Spacecraft Control Toolbox. Here we give a few elements of the design of a spacecraft to return helium-3 from the moon!

Spacecraft Design

Our CAD tools let you design your spacecraft entirely within the MATLAB environment. You can import STP files by first computing them to Wavefront OBJ format.

A CAD model is built in a script that allows you to do sizing and layout computations in the same place. There are functions for computing the inertia matrix of objects for which you only have a vertices and a mass. The CAD tools automatically create mass and power budgets.

The following images show imported legs designed in Fusion 360 and a HL-20 done by a graphics designer.

Lunar Landing

The toolboxes have a variety of lunar landing trajectory optimization tools. In this example we do a 2D optimization in the lunar fixed frame and transform it into a 3D trajectory in the ECI frame. This example is from our Optical Navigation System User’s Guide.

Optical Navigation

Optical navigation uses a camera to image planets, moons or asteroids and simultaneously image stars. The angles between the stars and the planet are used for navigation.

The measurements are combined with a propagated trajectory in an Unscented Kalman Filter.

The Optical Navigation Module for the Spacecraft Control Toolbox provides you with all the tools you need.

When you are close to your target you can use landmark tracking, either with a neural network or with edge and corner detection.

The images show a simulated camera star field with Sun as the  reference, navigation errors and an example using a neural network for terrain relative navigation.

Optical Navigation Images

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