MEDALS Guidance and Navigation

Discipline Capabilities


Guidance, Navigation, and Control Services: The SLI Team brings over 18 years of experience gained by supporting JPL on a variety of projects from Flight Systems to Technology Demonstration efforts to the Multi-divisional Engineering, Design, Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) contract.


  • Design, analysis, attitude determination and estimation, ACS simulations, multi-body dynamics analyses and simulations, including separation mechanism kinematics, hardware/software specifications and interfaces, GN&C algorithm development, technical monitoring


  • MathWorks MATLAB & Simulink
  • MathWorks Real-time Workshop for GNC flight code generation
  • AGI STK for mission analyses
  • LabVIEW for real-time dynamic simulators
  • In-house tools for modeling & analyses


Dawn Asteroid Rendezvous Spacecraft

  • Designed, analyzed, implemented, & tested the GN&C subsystem
  • Provided (and still providing) operations support since launch in September 2007
  • Designed a thrust vector control system for low-thrust ion engines, one of the first applications of such a design on an interplanetary spacecraft
  • Designed a gyro-less attitude determination system, one of the first applications of such a design on an interplanetary spacecraft
  • Designed an attitude steering algorithm to maintain simultaneous asteroid pointing & solar array Sun pointing
  • Designed, implemented, tested, & uploaded to the spacecraft flight software a hybrid wheel-thruster control system after the spacecraft experienced a wheel failure during the cruise to Vesta

Dawn Spacecraft Tools

  • Developed a high-fidelity hybrid simulation that can be run in either an all-software or hardware-in-the-loop mode for GN&C flight software
  • Delivered to JPL a flight system test bed based on this simulation




Work Categories