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Dr. Arunkumar Rathinam

  • Department:    CVI²
  • Postal Address: CVI², Campus Kirchberg, Université du Luxembourg 6, rue Richard Coudenhove-KalergiL-1359 Luxembourg


  • Email:                    arunkumar.rathinam@uni.lu
  • Telephone:            –
  • LinkedIn:               Arunkumar Rathinam
  • Google Scholar:   Arunkumar Rathinam


Dr. Arunkumar Rathinam is a Research Associate at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability, and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg and is associated with Computer Vision, Machine Intelligence and Imaging (CVI2) research group. He received his Erasmus Masters in Space Science and Technology from the University of Würzburg, Germany and Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, in 2015. He received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, in 2019. Before joining SnT, he worked as a Research Associate at the University of Surrey, UK, on developing Machine learning algorithms for spacecraft pose estimation for on-orbit servicing. Currently, at CVI2, he is the technical lead for synthetic data generation and algorithm development on the ESA-DIOSSA project focusing on deep learning algorithms for spacecraft pose estimation for on-orbit servicing scenarios. His research interests are mainly autonomous spacecraft navigation, SLAM, and machine learning for vision-based spacecraft navigation. His list of publications are listed below. He was on the organising committee of IGNSS (2016 & 2018), OEMF2017 (Off-Earth Mining Forum), SPARK Challenge 2022 (ECCV2022 -AI4Space workshop). He won of Move an Asteroid Competition (2018) conducted by the Space Generation Advisory Council, IAC tertiary student grant (2017) organised by the National Space Society of Australia (NSSA). 

Research Interests

  • Vision-based Spacecraft Naivigation 
  • Space Robotics 
  • Deep Learning 
  • Pose Estimation



Rathinam, Arunkumar, Zhou Hao, and Yang Gao. 2021. “Autonomous Visual Navigation for Spacecraft on-Orbit Operations.” In Space Robotics and Autonomous Systems: Technologies, Advances and Applications, 125. IET.

Hao, Zhou, RB Ashith Shyam, Arunkumar Rathinam, and Yang Gao. 2021. “Intelligent Spacecraft Visual GNC Architecture with the State-of-the-Art AI Components for on-Orbit Manipulation.” Frontiers in Robotics and AI 8.
Shyam, RB Ashith, Zhou Hao, Umberto Montanaro, Shilp Dixit, Arunkumar Rathinam, Yang Gao, Gerhard Neumann, and Saber Fallah. 2021. “Autonomous Robots for Space: Trajectory Learning and Adaptation Using Imitation.” Frontiers in Robotics and AI 8.


Rathinam, Arunkumar, and Yang Gao. 2020. “On-Orbit Relative Navigation Near a Known Target Using Monocular Vision and Convolutional Neural Networks for Pose Estimation.” In International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS).

Shyam, Ashith, Arunkumar Rathinam, and Zhou Hao. 2020. “Trajectory Tracking and Control of Multiple Robot Arms on a Free-Floating Spacecraft for Debris Removal.” In 3rd UK-RAS Conference, 3.


Rathinam, Arunkumar, and Andrew G Dempster. 2019. “Octree-Based Mascon Model for Small Body Gravity Fields.” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 42 (11): 2557–67.

Rathinam, Arunkumar. 2019. “Small Body Gravimetry Using SLAM-Based Autonomous Navigation.” PhD thesis, University of New South Wales.


Rathinam, Arunkumar. 2018. “Orbital Analysis of a Reusable CubeSat Platform to Relay Communications for Rovers on an Asteroid.” In Move an Asteroid Competition – Space Generation Congress, 1–8.

Rathinam, Arunkumar, and Andrew G Dempster. 2018. “Vision Based State Estimation Using a Graph-SLAM Approach for Proximity Operations Near an Asteroid.” In 69th International Astronautical Congress.


Rathinam, Arunkumar, and Andrew G Dempster. 2017. “3d Reconstruction of an Asteroid Shape Using Visual SLAM for Autonomous Navigation.” In 17th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC).

Rathinam, Arunkumar, and Andrew G Dempster. 2017. “Monocular Vision Based Simultaneous Localization and Mapping for Close Proximity Navigation Near an Asteroid.” In 68th International Astronautical Congress, Adelaide, Australia.


Rathinam, Arunkumar, and Andrew G Dempster. 2016.“ Effective Utilization of Space Service Volume Through Combined GNSS.” In ION GNSS+ 2016, Portland, Oregon.

Rathinam, Arunkumar, and Andrew G Dempster. 2016. “Geometrical Assessment of Multi-GNSS Prospects for Space Service Volume.” In 16th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC), 199–206.

Rathinam, Arunkumar, and Andrew G Dempster. 2016. “Multi-GNSS for Space Service Volume.” In International Global Navigation Satellite Systems (IGNSS) 2016.


Rathinam, Arunkumar. 2015. “Design and Development of UWE-4: Integration of Electric Propulsion Units, Structural Analysis and Orbital Heating Analysis.”Master thesis, University of Wurzburg.

Rathinam, Arunkumar, Philip Bangert, Daniel Bock, Mathias Pietzka, Martin Tajmar, and Klaus Schilling. 2015. “Structural Design, Integration of Micro Propulsion Units and Thermal Analysis of UWE (University of Wurzburg’s Experimental Satellites) Platform.” In 6th EUROPEAN CONFERENCE FOR AERONAUTICS AND SPACE SCIENCES (EUCASS).