Professor Pini Gurfil is the holder of the Shirley and Burt Harris Chair, head of Technion’s Norman and Helen Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI), and the director of the Distributed Space Systems Lab (DSSL) in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Technion. He is also the principal investigator of the Adelis-SAMSON satellite project.
Prof. Gurfil’s research focuses on astrodynamics, distributed space systems, trajectory optimization, celestial mechanics, and satellite dynamics and control. His research lab, DSSL, comprises an interdisciplinary group of researchers including graduate students from the Technion and abroad.
In early 2021, the Adelis-SAMSON project intends to launch three autonomous nano-satellites into space, which will fly in a controlled formation for the first time ever. ASRI collaborated with industry to create a sophisticated system that can accurately pinpoint the location of distress signals from Earth for search and rescue missions, along with other applications such as environmental monitoring.
Prof. Gurfil received all three degrees in aerospace engineering at the Technion, including his Ph.D. in 2000. He conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University prior to joining the Technion in 2003. He serves as associate editor for several professional journals and is affiliated with professional associations including the International Academy of Astronautics, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
ASRI was established in 1984 and renamed in 2009 with generous funding from the late American Technion Society-Chicago donors Norman and Helen Asher. The Adelis-SAMSON project, an acronym for Space Autonomous Mission for Swarming and Geolocating Nano-satellites, is supported by the Adelis Foundation, the Arlene & Arnold Goldstein Family Foundation, and the Israel Space Agency.