Picture of Dr. Rohan Sood

Assistant Professor

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

238 Hardaway
 (205) 348-4020
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  • Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, 2016
  • M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, 2012
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo, 2009


Dr. Rohan Sood’s research has emerged as a combination of two fields, applying engineering tools to study advanced concepts within multi-body dynamical systems and investigating scientific data to explore celestial bodies. Some of the current projects or research topics are:

  • Artificial intelligence based spacecraft trajectory design
  • Leveraging natural dynamics for cost-effective spacecraft trajectories
  • Asteroid exploration for resource prospecting
  • Explore solar sailing to perform flybys of multiple near-Earth asteroids
  • Utilize DragSails for spacecraft deorbit

His lab, the Astrodynamics and Space Research Laboratory, also employs a variety of hardware and software to enhance the visualization and interactivity of his research. It is equipped with a stereoscopic 3-D theater, HTC Vive VR Headsets for virtual reality, Microsoft HoloLens for augmented reality, 3-D rendering cluster, and multiple high-end computers.

Areas of Research

Latest Publications

  • Rubinsztejn, A., Sood, R., and Laipert, F.E., 2019, August. Neural Network Based Optimal Control: Resilience to Missed Thrust Events for Long Duration Transfers. In AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference (p. 773).
  • Pezent, J.B., Sood, R. and Heaton, A., 2019, August. Solar Sail Enabled Near-Vertical Earth-Trailing Orbits. In 5th International Symposium on Solar Sailing (19049)
  • Pezent, J.B., Sood, R. and Heaton, A., 2019, June. High-fidelity contingency trajectory design and analysis for NASA’s near-Earth asteroid (NEA) scout solar sail mission, Acta Astronautica, vol. 159, pp 385-396, DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.03.050
  • Sood, R., and Howell, K., 2019, February. Solar Sail Transfers and Trajectory Design to Sun-Earth L4, L5: Solar Observations and Potential Earth Trojan Exploration, The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, pp.1-35, DOI: 10.1007/s40295-018-00141-4
  • Ledbetter, W.G., Sood, R., and Stuart, J., 2019, January. Expected Accuracy of Density Recovery using Satellite Swarm Gravity Measurements. In 29th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting (p. 529).