Special Issue "Advances in Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) for Planetary Exploration"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310). This special issue belongs to the section "Astronautics & Space Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 9 February 2024 | Viewed by 950

Special Issue Editor

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
Interests: optimal control; trajectory optimization; attitude control; ascent trajectory; rocket control; convex optimization; reinforcement learning
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue on Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) in planetary exploration focuses on the challenges and advancements in safely delivering spacecraft and rovers to celestial bodies such as Mars and asteroids. EDL plays a critical role in ensuring successful missions by addressing the complexities and risks associated with the descent and landing phase. 

The topics covered in this Special Issue include a number of topics, among which atmospheric entry dynamics, trajectory design, navigation and guidance systems, and hazard avoidance techniques. Researchers and professionals are invited to contribute original research articles, review papers, and case studies that provide valuable insights and advancements in EDL technologies.

Understanding the dynamics of atmospheric entry and its effects on spacecraft during descent is crucial for mission success. Additionally, optimizing trajectory design to achieve precise landings and minimize fuel consumption is of great importance. Navigation and guidance systems, along with hazard avoidance technologies, ensure accurate positioning and maneuvering while mitigating potential risks. 

By bringing together experts from various disciplines, this Special Issue aims to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange. The shared expertise and research findings will contribute to the development of safer and more accurate landing techniques on Mars, asteroids, and beyond. 

Overall, the Special Issue seeks to expand our understanding of EDL systems and pave the way for advancements in planetary exploration. By addressing the challenges and exploring innovative approaches, researchers will contribute to unlocking the mysteries of our solar system and shaping the future of space exploration.

Dr. Alessandro Zavoli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL)
  • planetary exploration
  • atmospheric entry
  • trajectory design
  • navigation and guidance
  • hazard avoidance
  • Mars exploration
  • asteroid missions
  • spacecraft landing
  • EDL systems

Published Papers (1 paper)

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28 pages, 10170 KiB  
3D Soft-Landing Dynamic Theoretical Model of Legged Lander: Modeling and Analysis
Aerospace 2023, 10(9), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10090811 - 15 Sep 2023
Viewed by 734
In this paper, a novel 3D (three-dimensional) soft-landing dynamic theoretical model of a legged lander is developed in detail as well as its numerical solution process. The six degrees of freedom motion (6-DOF) of the base model of the lander with mass center [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel 3D (three-dimensional) soft-landing dynamic theoretical model of a legged lander is developed in detail as well as its numerical solution process. The six degrees of freedom motion (6-DOF) of the base model of the lander with mass center offset setting is considered in the model as well as the spatial motion (3-DOF) of each landing gear. The characteristics of the buffering force, the footpad–ground contact, and the inter-structure friction are also taken into account during the motion of each landing gear. The direct constraint violation correction is used to control the constraint stabilization of the nonlinear dynamic equation. Comparative studies between the results from the proposed model and the simulated model (built in MSC Adams) under four classical load cases show the validity of the model. Additionally, the influences of different types of contact force models, friction force models, and a friction correction model used in the soft-landing dynamic model are further investigated as a step toward understanding the soft-landing dynamic performance and the feasibility of the dynamic model method of a legged lander. The results indicate that a precise lateral force model of the footpad–ground contact is necessary to obtain the soft-landing performance of one lander during soft landing. Full article
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