Two MAE undergraduates named finalists at Small Satellites Conference

Borhani and Ravichandra show off their prize at the Small Satellites conference.

Fatak Borhani (left) and Niranjan Ravichandra (right) show off their prize at the Small Satellites Conference, held at Utah State University.

By Nicole Capozziello

Published September 11, 2019

Undergraduate students Fatak Borhani and Niranjan Ravichandra, both of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, made it to the finals in a student competition at the 33rd Annual Conference on Small Satellites.  

“This conference is the largest one dedicated to small satellites in the world. The Frank J. Redd student competition is highly competitive – having two of UB's undergraduates achieve this level of success is truly a testament to their gifted skills.”
John Crassidis, Samuel P. Capen Chair Professor
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Borhani, a senior, and Ravichandra, who graduated in May, were selected from a competitive field to present their work at the event, which drew over 3,000 participants from 45 countries.

The Frank J. Redd student competition garnered over 100 entries from both undergraduate and graduate students from around the world. Of these, only six papers were selected to be presented at the conference.

Borhani and Ravichandra were chosen for this honor, giving a 12-minute presentation of their paper “Experimental Validation of Relative Attitude Determination through Line of Sight Measurements for a Two-Vehicle Static Formation.” Judges evaluated their work on scientific merit, industry relevance, and clarity of writing, as well as their presentation and nimble response to questions at the conference.

Borhani and Ravichandra’s paper placed 4th, getting an honorable mention. They received an award of $1,500 each.

“This conference is the largest one dedicated to small satellites in the world,” says John Crassidis, Samuel P. Capen Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and advisor to the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory. “The Frank J. Redd student competition is highly competitive – having two of UB's undergraduates achieve this level of success is truly a testament to their gifted skills.”

The conference took place August 3-8, 2019 at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.