Amit K. Sanyal


  • Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering, U of Michigan)
  • MS (Mathematics, U of Michigan)
  • MS (Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M)
  • B. Tech. (Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur)

Lab/Center Affiliation:

  • Syracuse Center of Excellence
  • Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE)

Research Interests:

  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Geometric control
  • Nonlinear estimation
  • Geometric mechanics
  • Aerospace control
  • Mobile robots

Current Research:

My primary research interests are in dynamics modeling, control and estimation of mobile robots, spacecraft and unmanned vehicles modeled as rigid body and multi-body systems. The framework of this research is based on geometric mechanics and geometric control. These methods provide the substantial practical advantage of Lyapunov stability in the control and estimation schemes obtained. A secondary practical advantage is that such schemes lead to energy-efficient and robust control that is implementable with current technology. Geometric mechanics is the study of the mechanics of systems that evolve on state spaces that may not be vector spaces. The overall (translational and attitude) motion of aerospace vehicles cannot be described globally on a vector space, as their states evolve on a differentiable manifold that cannot be continuously deformed to a vector space. For spacecraft, maneuverable aerial vehicles and several robotic systems, the large ranges of rotational motion necessitate a global analysis of the state space to tackle dynamics, state estimation and control problems of interest. The vast majority of current schemes for control and state estimation of such systems are either applicable to local motion due to singularities, or they are unstable in the sense of Lyapunov, or they require discontinuous or hybrid control schemes that cannot be implemented by attitude actuators that can only provide continuous inputs. Technical challenges that can be overcome with the nonlinear estimation and control techniques that I have developed include robustness to uncertainties in the dynamics; coupled control, power and communication constraints; actuator constraints; and control and estimation of system states and uncertain inputs over large ranges of possible motions.

Courses Taught:

Courses taught at NMSU from fall 2013 till spring 2015 are:

  • AE 362 (Orbital Mechanics)
  • ME 452 (Control System Design)
  • AE 561/ME 405 (Spacecraft Dynamics and Control)
  • AE/ME 527 (Control of Mechanical Systems)
  • AE/ME 529 (Nonlinear and Optimal Control)
  • ME 580 (Numerical Analysis II)


  • 2001 Distinguished Graduate Student Masters Research Award, Texas A & M University.
  • 2002 College of Engineering Fellowship, University of Michigan.
  • 2003 Engineering Academic Scholar Certificate, College of Engineering, University of Michigan.
  • 2012 Summer Faculty Fellow, Air Force Research Laboratory.
  • 2013 AIAA Senior Member.
  • 2015 IEEE Senior Member.

Selected Publications:

J. Bohn and A. K. Sanyal, “Almost global finite-time stabilization of rigid body attitude dynamics using rotation matrices,” to appear in International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, 2015, available online, doi: 10.1002/rnc.3399.

G. Misra, M. Izadi, A. Sanyal and D. Scheeres, “Coupled Orbit-Attitude Dynamics of Spacecraft and Relative State Estimation During Exploration of Small Solar System Bodies,” to appear in Advances in Space Research, 2015, available online, doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2015.05.023.

S. P. Viswanathan, A. K. Sanyal, F. Leve and N. H. McClamroch, “Dynamics and Control of Spacecraft with a Generalized Model of Variable Speed Control Moment Gyroscopes,” ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, 137(7), paper 071003, 2015, doi: 10.1115/1.4029626.

A. K. Sanyal and J. Bohn, “Finite Time Stabilization of Simple Mechanical Systems using Continuous Feedback,” International Journal of Control, 88(4), pp. 783-791, 2015.

D. Lee, A. Sanyal, E. Butcher and D. Scheeres, “Finite-Time Control for Spacecraft Body-Fixed Hovering over an Asteroid”, IEEE Transactions in Aerospace and Electronic Systems, vol. 51 (1), pp. 506-520, 2015, doi: 10.1109/TAES.2014.140197.

D. Lee, A. Sanyal and E. Butcher, “Asymptotic Tracking Control for Spacecraft Formation Flying with Decentralized Collision Avoidance,” AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, vol. 38(4), pp. 587-600, 2015.

D. Lee, E. A. Butcher and A. K. Sanyal, “Optimal interior EarthMoon Lagrange point transfer trajectories using mixed impulsive and continuous thrust,” Aerospace Science and Technology, vol. 39, pp. 281-292, 2014.

D. Lee, A. Sanyal, E. Butcher and D. Scheeres, “Almost Global Asymptotic Tracking Control for Spacecraft Body-Fixed Hovering near an Asteroid,” Aerospace Science and Technology, vol. 38, pp. 105-115, 2014.

D. Lee, H. Bang, E. A. Butcher and A. K. Sanyal, “Kinematically Coupled Relative Spacecraft Motion Control using the State-Dependent Riccati Equation Method,” ASCE Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 2014, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)AS.1943-5525.0000436.

M. Izadi and A. K. Sanyal, “Rigid Body Attitude Estimation Based on the Lagrange-d’Alembert Principle,” Automatica, vol. 50 (10), pp. 2570-2577, 2014.

D. Lee, H. Bang, A. Sanyal and E. Butcher, “Nonlinear Output Tracking and Disturbance Rejection for Autonomous Close Range Rendezvous and Docking of Spacecraft,” Transactions of Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences, vol. 57(4), pp. 225-237, 2014.

A. K. Sanyal and A. Goswami, “Dynamics and Balance Control of the Reaction Mass Pendulum (RMP): A 3D Multibody Pendulum with Variable Body Inertia,” ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, vol. 136(2), paper 021002, 2014.