• Dr. Farhad Aghili
  • Canadian Space Agency
  • Holden Auditorium (Room 112)
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • Faculty Host: Dr. Joseph Schetz

The history of in-orbit robotics began three decades ago by deployment of the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), also known as Canadarm, which has played a key role throughout the Space Shuttle Program and then later in the International Space Station (ISS) Program. The Space Station robotic system was complemented by deployment of a dual arm manipulator called Dextre capable of completing human--‐scale delicate servicing tasks. These robotic capabilities have been used to perform assembly and maintenance of ISS, inspection and support EVA operations, and capture/docking of cooperative spacecraft and ISS visiting vehicles. Since then, the paradigm of in-orbit servicing using a space manipulator has attracted many researchers, motivated by several national and international missions in the horizon for repairing, rescuing, and refueling failed satellites as well as for removing large orbital debris. The speaker starts off by reviewing the robotic component of the Space Station and some if its enabling technologies developed through several in-house R&D projects. In particular, the research pertaining to zero- g dynamic emulation of spacecraft and space manipulator and an innovative conceptual design of reconfigurable manipulators, which outlined the Next Generation Canadarm (NGC) project, will be presented. The remainder of the talk will be devoted to present multi-disciplinary research in the area of vision-guided robotics for satellite servicing or orbital debris removal missions. Motion and parameter estimation of uncooperative satellites using laser vision data and optimal guidance for autonomous rendezvous and capture will be discussed.


Following completing his Ph.D. program at McGill University in 1998, Dr. Aghili joined the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) where has been Mission Operation Engineer, Systems Engineer, and Federal Research Scientist at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), where he contributed to the Canadian Space Exploration and the International Space Station (ISS) programs in various capacities. Dr. Aghili has established a robust research and development program by applying his expertise in dynamics, controls, and robotics leading to many technology transfers to industry. His research resulted in over 130 scientific papers, 3 book chapters, 10 patents in US and Canada, 6 trade secretes, and several technology transfers to industry. He also chaired and been otherwise involved in several international conferences and professional activities as well as being the recipient of the best paper award and invited keynote speaker in international conferences. Dr. Aghili is Technical Editor of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMech) and the Chair of IEEE Montreal Robotics & Automation Chapter.