2022 was a year that can be described as ‘groundbreaking’ with respect to the developments made on the space front. The industry is advancing every day, and the American Astronautical Society is aware of the individuals who are putting in the work to achieve these accomplishments. Each year, the Society awards Fellow distinction to professionals that have made significant contributions to astronautics and AAS. For 2022, we recognized three outstanding members of AAS to honor as Fellows: Yang Cheng, Simone D’Amico, and Khanh Pham.
Yang Cheng, an Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Mississippi State University, is recognized for seminal contributions to development of novel attitude determination algorithms and for a long-sustained service to AAS and the broader aerospace community. His expertise in spacecraft attitude estimation and estimation methods is showcased in over 80 published journal articles and conference papers. His work is featured in Automatica, the Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, and the AAS publication The Journal of Astronautical Sciences. We admire Yang Cheng’s ability to deepen our understanding of complex algorithms through his prominent research.
Simone D’Amico, an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, is recognized for his seminal contributions to autonomous Guidance, Navigation, and Control, particularly for spacecraft rendezvous and formation flying. His prestige is proven through a multitude of publications and his role as Principal Investigator on many missions including the Spaceborne Autonomous Formation-Flying Experiment (SAFE), the Autonomous Orbit Keeping Experiment (AOK), and the Advanced Rendezvous Experiment using GPS and Optical Navigation (ARGON) of the DLR PRISMA mission. D’Amico has been integral to AAS through his participation in the Space Flight Mechanics Technical Committee, in which he served as the AAS General Chair at the 2022 Astrodynamics Specialist Conference.
Khanh Pham, the Principal Aerospace Engineer for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)’s Space Vehicles Directorate, is recognized for outstanding technical achievements in control and game-theoretic operations research and government leadership in support of military space and missions. He excels in strategizing space warfighter readiness through his 24 US patents that provide methods and devices to counteract various space threat scenarios. Pham has a strong history of involvement with the AAS Rocky Mountain Section where he built important partnerships with various sectors, significantly strengthening the relationship between AAS and the AFRL.