2015 - 2016 Officers

Natasha Bosanac Profile Picture

Natasha Bosanac



Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering


Kathleen C. Howell

Research Title:

Employing dynamical systems theory to investigate the influence of a three-body interaction on the dynamics in the circular restricted three-body problem for astronomy applications

Research Description:

My research involves using frequency analysis, stability analysis and Poincaré maps to investigate the dynamics of a third body (often an exoplanet) orbiting about a large mass ratio binary star system (consisting of a pulsar and white dwarf), under the influence of a gravitational potential that is modified to incorporate many-body interactions.

For an exoplanet to be bound to the vicinity of the binary over a long period of time, it likely exhibits near-repeatable motion in the form of quasi-periodic orbits. Infinitely many of these orbits exist at various position and velocity combinations, with various properties. Computing an infinite number of trajectories, with no intuition of the possible motions, is highly impractical. Therefore, we can employ interdisciplinary computational and visualization techniques to intelligently and efficiently search for and characterize these candidate orbits for an exoplanet.

About Me:

I began my undergraduate career at MIT knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in aerospace engineering. However, there were a multitude of disciplines and applications that I found fascinating. It wasn't until the summer before my senior year when I participated in a summer research program at the California Institute of Technology that I found my true passion: astrodynamics. This discipline involves modeling a spacecraft, exoplanet or asteroid, for example, as it moves under the influence of various forces around some central body, such as a star or planet. After hearing about the interesting astrodynamics research being conducted at Purdue University, I decided to come here and have since joined Professor Howell's Multi-body Dynamics Research Group in the AAE Department. Given the computationally intensive nature of our research, I have found immense value in being part of the Computational Science and Engineering program, which has provided me with the knowledge to incorporate various interdisciplinary tools into my research.


  • Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship 2014-2015
  • Purdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Research Symposium Series 2013, Second Place Presentation
  • Purdue Graduate Student Government Professional Grant 2013
  • Purdue Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Computational Science and Engineering Student Conference 2013, Best Poster Award
  • Purdue Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs 2013 Spring Reception, Certificate of Excellence in Computational Science and Engineering
  • Purdue Graduate Student Government Travel Grant 2012
  • Purdue University Computational Science and Engineering Lynn Fellowship 2010-2011

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