Welcome to Luciano Iess's Homepage

On the left: the BepiColombo spacecraft, the MORE - Mercury Orbiter Radioscience Experiment - logo and team. BepiColombo is an ESA mission dedicated to the exploratcion of Mercury. Launch: 2016.


Students unable to take the exam are kindly requested to notify the teacher as soon as possible. No show will adversely affect the sequence of the exams!


*** Exams: January 23, 2015 - 2 pm (tentative), teacher's office

 Approximate schedule:

Anastasi (14:00)

Speranzini (14:00)

Corso (14:30)

Arcese (15:30)

We will start at the completion of the graduation exams. The students are advised to show up at 2 pm.



*** MSS test n.2:

List of received homeworks

Students admitted to the exam in simplified mode  


MSS 2014 - Home test n. 2 

Email the code and the report to luciano.iess@uniroma1.it AND mircojunior.mariani@uniroma1.it by Friday May 30 23:59:59.

Students passing both home tests (or the challenge and the second test) will be entitled to take the exam in a simplified mode.

Clarification #1: you may neglect the torque variations due to the eclipses.

Clarification #2: if needed, you may use this matlab routine to solve Kepler's equation.  

Clarification #3: The angular momentum storage capacity is 29.32 N-m-s and not 22.6 N-m-s.

Clarification #4: The minimum time requirement has to be intended loosely. Any design of the control system attaining the required attitude in a reasonable time is acceptable.



*** Challenge MSS 2014 - Results

- Mario Tindaro Migliorino - 2 pt.

- Michela Archi - 1 pt.

- Renato Volpe - 1 pt.

- Filippo Silvestrucci - 1 pt.

- Andrea Antolino - 1 pt.

Congratulations to all participants. The solution will be presented on Monday May 19, 1:30 pm, at the Radio Science Lab. 


*** Guest Lectures on Space Missions:

R.T. Mitchell, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (ret.), Former Project Manager of the Galileo and Cassini missions 

- Tuesday May 13, 8:30-10:00 am, room 39

- Wednesday May 13, 12:00-1:30 pm, room 39

- Thursday May 13, 10:15-11:45 am, room *********  39  ********

Downoad Slides (zipped file)



Challenge MSS 2014  ****WARNING (May 9, h.19:30) : The first guess value of the GM must be set to 401500 km3/s2 and not to 398500 km3/s2 as reported in the text of the challenge. ****

Observables:   track_GS1.txt    track_GS2.txt

Email the code and the report to luciano.iess@uniroma1.it AND paolo.racioppa@uniroma1.it by Sunday May 11 23:59:59 UTC.

Students who did not pass the first test can take part in the challenge. The challenge is valid as a backup test. The deadline is unchanged (no extension this time).


Home Test 1 (revised) (students passing both tests are eligible to take the final exam in a simplified mode)

Observable quantities (trackfile.txt) 

*** Email the code (Matlab, Fortran, C ...) and a short note containing the procedure, the solution and the plots  to luciano.iess@uniroma1.it AND paolo.racioppa@uniroma1.it by midnight Sunday Apr. 27, 2014.  

*** Updated List of received reports by midnight Sunday Apr. 27, 2014 ***

List of Received Reports (Updated)

*** Home Test 1 Results ***

Home Test 1 Results

Students who did not pass the first test can take part in the challenge. The challenge is valid as a backup test.


** Follow the link on the side to know the dates of examination sessions.

** Dates of home tests and competition:

     - Apr. 23-27 (home test 1)

     - May. 20-24 (home test 2)

     - May 9-11 (competition)


** Space Environment and Instrumentation: The updated class notes 

- Space_Env_Instr_2014_1.pdf

- Space_Env_Instr_2014_2.pdf

- phase_amplitude.m (matlab file)

- quadrupole_eig.m (matlab file)

may be downloaded from the link Class Notes.


** Space Missions and Systems: The updated class notes

- Missioni_Sist_Spa_0_2014.pdf

- Missioni_Sist_Spa_1_2014.pdf

- Missioni_Sist_Spa_2_2014.pdf  (only minor typos corrected)

- Missioni_Sist_Spa_3_2014.pdf  (some typos corrected)

may be downloaded from the link Class Notes. Please consider also the auxiliary slides Normal_Distributions.pdf.



For updated information you may follow me on Twitter (luciano_iess)


*** Seminars at Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications Technology (BITTT):

Seminar 1: Deep Space Navigation Systems: Where Do We Stand?

Seminar 2: The European Delta-DOR Correlator

Seminar 3: BepiColombo, the ESA Mission To Mercury; MORE: Geodesy, Geophysics, Navigation

Seminar 4 and 5: The Scientific Use of Deep Space Tracking Systems; Radio Science in Deep Space Missions

***Tour of Robledo's DNS facilities. The visit of the Robledo e Cebreros premise was an educative and beautiful experience. It would be useful create a noted photo-album of the visit. All students who wish cooperate must create a zip folder containing the most signficant photos with a tagline with name and surname of the author (in italian and in english). The zip folder will be send to the teacher or upload on this website. Please link here


Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)



Relativity in the Global positioning System by N. Ashby

The rotation of LAGEOS

Chronicling Saturn's Northern Storm