Lassonde PhD students win two COSPAR Outstanding Paper Awards for Young Scientist

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Two Lassonde PhD Students received two prestigious awards from COSPAR (Committee on Space Research).

Junjie Kang and Peng Li both won the COSPAR Outstanding Paper Award for Young Scientist for their papers published in the journal of Advances in Space Research.

The papers were co-authored with their supervisor Professor George Zhu, Tier I York Research Chair in Space Technology in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

This award is widely recognized as the most valued paper award in the field of space research.


Junjie Kang, a third year PhD student, is awarded for his paper titled 'Fractional order sliding mode control for tethered satellite deployment with disturbances'. The paper seeks a fast and stable way to deliver a satellite into lower Earth orbits using a tether. His research topic is about the dynamics and control of tethered Spacecraft system and its application in space debris removal.

Peng Li, a fourth year PhD student is awarded for his paper titled 'State Dependent Model Predictive Control for Orbital Rendezvous Using Pulse-Width Pulse-Frequency Modulated Thrusters'. The paper explores a new control scheme for spacecraft rendezvous in space. His research topic is about the model predictive control theory and its application in spacecraft rendezvous.

COSPAR was  established by the International Council for Science in 1958. Every two years, it selects around 25 papers from its flagship publication - Advances in Space Research. The recipients must be the first authors under 31 years of age. There are only 3 Canadian recipients (including Kang and Li) since the establishment of award in 2008.

Prof. Zhu is an international leader in space research with a focus on dynamics and control of tethered spacecraft system, spacecraft rendezvous, and space robotics for on-orbit service and space debris removal. He is the principal investigators of two Canadian Cubesat missions to be launched in April 2019 and 2021. His team has published 120 papers on high-impact peer-reviewed journals and similar numbers of paper in conference proceedings.


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