Simulation of Space Nets to Capture Satellites

series of six images of a net in space capturing a falling satellite.

Students will contribute to the development of a simulator for capture of satellites with nets.

Project description

This project aims to develop a simulator for capture of satellites with nets. Nets are expected to be used to catch non-functioning spacecraft, help solve the space debris problem, and guarantee the use of key orbits for observation and communication purposes. Simulation is needed before use of these nets in real missions, for example to identify preferred capture conditions.

A simulation tool exists in Dr. Botta’s lab and needs to be improved. Students will work on several tasks to improve the simulator:

  1. Updating the simulator to newer software versions using C++ code.
  2. Adding functionalities to existing simulator. 
  3. Creating simulation results to gain insight into the system.

Project outcome

The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Medium (about a semester; 3-5 months)
Start time Spring (January/February)
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Individual or small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Academic credit; other
Who is eligible Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors

Project mentor

Eleonora Botta

Assistant Professor

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Phone: (716) 645-2802


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • The specific preparation activities will be identified for each student after a consultation with the project mentor.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering