Using geometric control theory to identify optimal trajectories

Graduate student Geoffrey Patterson has been awarded the Robert and Doris Pulley Award in Mathematics from ARCS.

ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) is a national non-profit organization that boosts U.S. competitiveness by raising funds to support promising U.S. citizens in doctoral programs in the sciences, engineering, and medicine).

In a collaborative project with the Institute for Astronomy, Geoff uses geometric control theory to identify optimum trajectories that would allow spacecraft to intercept temporarily captured objects — asteroids and the like caught in Earth orbit for a short time.