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)
Level of collaboration Individual or small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Academic credit; other
Who is eligible Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

Project mentor

Eleonora Botta

Assistant Professor

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Phone: (716) 645-2802



To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. These badges will:

  1. Guide you in setting your goals and intentions as well as gaining additional context,
  2. Enhance your collaboration with your mentor/partner,
  3. Support your reflection and help you integrate your learning with your academic and professional goals.

All students who wish to participate in a project on the Project Portal must first complete the Project Preparation Digital Badge. First, contact the project mentor to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge.

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project:

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