PhD Candidate – Astronautical Engineering

Rahul is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California, having received a doctorate in astronautical engineering. His dissertation was on orbital optimization techniques for spacecraft swarms. The focus of his research is to enable in-orbit manufacturing, satellite aggregation, and close-quarters robotic inspection of spacecraft, using swarms of small and medium sized satellites in Earth orbit. He has also worked as a systems engineer on CubeSat projects for the University of Southern California’s Space Engineering Research Center (SERC), and has performed in-depth analysis of past, present, and future methods of spacecraft Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) for the CONFERS consortium, through funding provided by DARPA. He is currently working with Arkisys to build an autonomous research outpost in low Earth orbit.

In addition to his dissertation research on swarm rendezvous, he assists in teaching the ASTE 566 Satellite Ground Communications course at USC, alongside Professor David Barnhart. He also mentors undergraduate and graduate students at the SERC on matters of CubeSat design and operation, as well as the fundamentals of engineering design and development.

USC Ground Station Antennas
USC Ground Station Antennas


Rahul has a Bachelor’s of Engineering degree in Mechanical engineering from McGill University, with a concentration in Aeronautics. He also holds both PhD and Master of Science degrees in Astronautical engineering from the University of Southern California (USC).

Technical Skills

CAD Software
Siemens NX

Simulation Software
STK (Level 3 Certified)
NX FlowSim

High Performance Computing (HPC)
D-Wave Quantum Computer

Programming Languages
Python | Swift