2018 Tycho Brahe Award

Presented to: Prof. Marek K. Ziebart

Citation: For outstanding innovation and leadership in the area of high precision, physics-based radiation force modelling for spacecraft orbit dynamics.

Marek Ziebart

Prof. Marek K. Ziebart revolutionized the precision of satellite orbit modelling through numerical solar radiation pressure modelling, demonstrating the importance of higher-order effects, such as self- shadowing, secondary reflections, thermal re-radiation, and antenna thrust. He has shown the benefits of applying high-precision, physics-based radiation force modelling in Precise Orbit Determination (POD) for a range of satellite types, from low to medium Earth orbit.

Prof. Ziebart developed a physics-based radiation force modelling strategy for the precise orbit determination of the JASON-1 satellite (NASA’s flagship space-based sea level measurement probe), which was adopted as an operational standard by Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This work contributes directly to the principal scientific measurements used to monitor global sea level rise. In recognition of sustained contributions and leadership for POD in GNSS, he was appointed to the governing board of the IGS (2010), and has been chair of the IGS Space Vehicle Orbit Dynamics Working Group since 2011.

In 2010, under contract for the European Space Agency (ESA), Prof. Ziebart led a project to design a planetary navigation system for Mars. He has worked for several years with both the UK DSTL and USAF ARFL on space situational awareness, and has been influential in guiding national and international research policy. He recently completed a lecture tour for NATO on space domain awareness. More recently, Prof. Ziebart has worked with ESA to develop force models for the Galileo and Sentinel-1 missions. Prof. Ziebart joined the University College London (UCL) in 2001, where he became a full Professor in 2008, serving as Vice Dean for Engineering Research from 2010 to 2014. At ION, he and his students have won multiple best paper awards. Prof. Ziebart was awarded a PhD in Satellite Geodesy and Astrodynamics from the University of East London in 2001.