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Walter Fichter is a professor of flight mechanics and controls. He has 17 years of industry experience as a development engineer and project manager in the field of guidance, control, and dynamics with MBB, Dornier (now both Airbus Defence and Space), and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan. In 2015 he spent a Sabbatical at Stanford University. In total, he was involved in the development of six different spacecraft control systems that were or still are operational. He filed about 14 patents. His major personal engineering contributions include:
- Design and development of a dynamic momentum bias control system for spacecraft. This was a world first and key contribution to the Globalstar satellite constellation.
- Conception of the functional architecture and navigation and filtering algorithms of a special spaceborne GPS receiver (the MosaicGPS receiver), that can be applied from low Earth to geostationary orbits. This receiver flies on many spacecraft and is being sold to date.
- The design of the drag-free control system of the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft. This is the world’ s first drag-free system with cubic test masses and one of the most complex control system of all ESA spacecraft.
In the past 10 years his research interests include autonomous flight and unmanned vehicles, intelligent flight for general aviation aircraft, and dynamics and controls of helicopters.
Mr. Fichter is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and member of the advisory board of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics. Moreover, he is an active pilot for airplanes (EU PPL/IR, US CPL/IR).