ISI Directory

Rahul Rughani, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate


B.Eng., Mechanical Engineering, McGill University
M.S., Astronautical Engineering, University of Southern California
Ph.D., Astronautical Engineering, University of Southern California


Dr. Rughani is an expert in orbital optimization techniques for spacecraft swarms. The focus of his research and professional work is to enable in-orbit manufacturing, satellite aggregation, and precision robotic inspection of spacecraft, using swarms of small and medium sized satellites in Earth orbit. He has also worked as a systems engineer on CubeSat projects for the University of Southern California’s Space Engineering Research Center (SERC), and has performed in-depth analysis of past, present, and future methods of spacecraft Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) for the CONFERS consortium, through funding provided by DARPA.

Research Summary

Dr. Rughani is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at ISI, where he works with Professor David Barnhart at the Space Engineering Research Center (SERC). The focus of his research is to enable multi-spacecraft Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO), enabled by the unique Air Bearing Platform (ABP) at the SERC. He also assists with student run research projects, including communications and operations for USC's 3rd CubeSat, DODONA


Post-Doctoral Researcher, Information Sciences Institute / Space Engineering Research Center