2020 University Exhibits
California Polytechnic State University - CubeSat Lab
The Cal Poly CubeSat Lab started in 1999 with the objective of providing students with the opportunity to design, launch, and operate satellites in an academic lifetime. The Lab has developed and launched 9 different satellites. We are currently developing 7 different CubeSats, 5 of which are due to launch in 2018. Cal Poly’s motto is “learn by doing,” and in that spirit, develops nearly all of our own subsystems in house. Cal Poly is responsible for maintaining the CubeSat Design Specification (CDS), developing and flying the Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD). Cal Poly has successfully tested and integrated 88 CubeSat dispensers for 24 missions on 12 different launch vehicles. The Cal Poly CubeSat Lab has facilities that can be used by commercial companies and government agencies for different services, including environments testing. Cal Poly regularly works with industry on SBIRs and other studies. More information can be found at www.polysat.calpoly.edu.
California Polytechnic State University - PolySat
The Space Systems Design Lab (SSDL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology creates space technologies and advanced mission concepts that enable new missions and capabilities in robotic and human space exploration. Research focuses on space flight applications and projects. We use modern engineering tools including mission design methodologies, systems engineering, additive manufacturing, simulation, optimization, sensing, estimation and control to propose, participate in, and operate space flight missions that conduct space science and demonstrate new technologies.
Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory
The Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) is a multidisciplinary research and education center with a strong focus on aerospace technologies. HSFL designs, builds, tests, launches and operates microsatellites in the 1-150 kg range for a variety of science and educational objectives. HSFL was established in 2007 within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and the College of Engineering (CoE). HSFL is also embedded as a laboratory of the Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), drawing expertise from leading planetary scientists at the University of Hawaii.
HSFL’s main goals are to 1) Promote innovative engineering and science research for terrestrial and planetary space missions 2) Develop, launch, and operate small spacecraft from the Hawaiian Islands to accelerate the validation of new space technologies 3) Provide workforce training in all aspects of unmanned space missions 4) Establish synergistic collaboration between educational institutions, government, and industry interested in space exploration.
Institute for Space and Defense Electronics - Vanderbilt University
Michigan Technological University
The Michigan Tech Aerospace Enterprise is a multidisciplinary team of more than 100 undergraduate students working to design and build small satellites. Collaborating with organizations such as NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Aerospace Enterprise aims to educate the next generation of space systems engineers by providing real-world engineering experience to its students. Most recently, the team has seen success with its Oculus spacecraft, which was the first ever small satellite launched from a Falcon Heavy as part of the Department of Defense's STP-2 mission. The Aerospace Enterprise is currently working on two more small satellites, Auris and Stratus.
Missouri University of Science and Technology
M-SAT was founded as a research team in 2002 by Dr. Pernicka along with three other faculty members who, with approximately 65 undergraduate and 10 graduate students, develop new technologies for smallsats. The team has participated in AFRL’s University Nanosatellite Program since 2005 and won the Nanosatellite 8 competition in January 2015 with a pair of smallsats (MR & MRS SAT) that will conduct close proximity operations using a campus-designed stereoscopic imaging sensor. The team is also currently developing CubeSats for NASA’s Undergraduate Student Instrumentation Project (M3) and AFRL’s Nanosat 10 Program (APEX).
APEX (Advanced Propulsion Experiment) is a 6U CubeSat with a campus-developed multi-mode micropropulsion system as its primary payload. Unique challenges to this mission include packaging the propulsion system and validating its performance on-orbit. Through this mission, M-SAT seeks to develop a versatile propulsion system that can be packaged in smallsats to expand future mission opportunities.
Morehead State University
The Space Science Center at Morehead State University focuses on the development and operation of small satellites. The Center provides Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) services with the 21-meter Antenna at UHF, S-Band, X-Band, and Ku-bands for LEO missions and TT&C and Ranging services for inner solar system interplanetary smallsat missions. The Center provides spacecraft environmental testing services including: vibration analysis, T-Vac, EMI/EMC, and antenna characterization. The Center’s staff and students have flown several space missions with partners including: KySat-2, CXBN, CXBN-2, EduSat, UniSat-5, T-LogoQube (Eagle-1) and DM-7, with other missions in development including CXBN-3 and Lunar IceCube (slated to fly on the NASA EM-1 mission). MSU offers academic programs including: B.S. in Space Systems Engineering, B.S. in Astrophysics and M.S. in Space Systems Engineering. Courses are taught by outstanding faculty with industry experience in satellite systems design, defense electronics, and space operations.
National Central University
National Central University was established in Taiwan in 1962 as a direct result of the 1957/1958 International Geophysical Year, with a mandate to focus on the geosciences and space science in particular. NCU has specialized programs in space physics and engineering, remote sensing, satellite and sounding rocket payloads, small satellites, space weather research, as well as sensors for civil and defense applications. NCU has been extensively involved with Taiwan’s national space program through the development and operation of satellite and sounding rocket payloads, and was mandated by the Taiwan Ministry of Education in 2018 to establish Taiwan’s first university space center to coordinate and integrate the activities of faculty members working on astronautical physics and engineering research, while also providing opportunities for project based learning in space systems engineering. Effective August 2020, NCU will also establish a Department of Space Science and Engineering providing a full graduate, undergraduate and research program in space physics and systems engineering - the first of its kind in Taiwan.
Saint Louis University
The Space Systems Research Laboratory (SSRL) is an undergraduate-focused spacecraft development and research laboratory at Saint Louis University. Under sponsorship of the AFRL University Nanosat-10 Program, SSRL is developing the Distributed Observation Reasoning and Reaction Experiment (DORRE). DORRE is a two-spacecraft, two-ground-node network to demonstrate autonomous event detection and response. Come by the booth to meet our student team, learn about DORRE and see demonstrations of our sensors, bus hardware and network operations.
Texas A&M University
AggieSat Lab at Texas A&M University has recently been engaged in 3 projects: 1) Lonestar - Working closely with NASA Johnson Space Center and the University of Texas at Austin, a multidisciplinary team of Texas A&M freshmen through graduate students has been designing a 50 kg satellite (AggieSat4) for release from the International Space Station through the airlock via Cyclops in 2014. This is the 2nd in a series of missions to advance autonomous rendezvous & docking technologies of national interest. 2) STARE – The goal of this partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Naval Postgraduate School is to develop pathfinder satellites with optical payloads. 3) The Aerospace Corporation Ground Station Network – AggieSat Lab is hosting a ground station unit that is networked with units in California and Florida to provide command and telemetry coverage across the United States.
The State University of New York at Buffalo
The Formation Attitude Laser Communication Orbital Navigator (FALCON) is being developed to test the ability to provide relative attitude and orbit information between spacecraft as a bi-product of optical communications. The process uses optical transmissions as line of sight measurements to establish the 6 degrees of freedom attitude of the satellite relative to the transmitters. With time data, the optical communications system will find the range between transmitters which can be used in conjunction with known properties to calculate the satellite's orbit without a GPS. When the satellites are too close to use laser ranging, a secondary radio payload will be used to determine distance. After successful testing, FALCON's methods will eliminate the need for dedicated guidance hardware in satellite swarms or constellations which communicate optically. FALCON is being developed by undergraduate and graduate students from the University At Buffalo Nano-satellite Laboratory (UBNL) under the guidance of the University Nano-satellite Program (UNP) within the Air Force Research Laboratory.
The University of Texas at Austin
The Texas Spacecraft Laboratory (TSL) at The University of Texas at Austin employs graduate and undergraduate students to design spacecraft and conduct space flight missions. The TSL has launched 5 satellites since 2009, and is working on an additional mission for UNP NS-10. The TSL is a three-time winner of the national University Nanosatellite Program. Students in the TSL complete all phases of a satellite project, including mission design, spacecraft fabrication, integration and testing, operation, and analysis. Students in the TSL conduct research on space technology and systems related subjects, including: guidance, navigation, and control systems; attitude determination and control; formation flying, satellite swarms, and satellite networks; cooperative control; proximity operations and unmanned spacecraft rendezvous; space based Global Positioning System receivers; radio navigation; visual navigation; propulsion; satellite operations; and space systems engineering.
The University of Tokyo - Intelligent Space Systems Laboratory
Intelligent Space Systems Laboratory (ISSL) at the University of Tokyo has been pioneering micro/nano/pico-satellites development for 20 years, in cooperation with governments, research institutions and private companies around the world.
Starting from the world's first CubeSat “XI-IV” launched in 2003, we have succeeded in the development, launch and operation of 11 satellites. Our application ranges from Earth observation to entertainment, advertisement, capacity building, and recently we have embarked on space science and deep space exploration missions. The world's first interplanetary micro-satellite “PROCYON” was launched in 2014 to successfully demonstrate the 50kg-class deep space bus. After its success, we have developed a 6U CubeSat “EQUULEUS” flying to Earth-Moon Lagrange point, which will be onboard the maiden flight of NASA’s SLS.
Our booth will introduce our past and current activities, and we would like to discuss future collaboration ideas with the attendees all over the world.
U.S. Naval Academy
The U.S. Naval Academy Satellite Lab in the Aerospace Department serves students, faculty and staff throughout the Academy, including students in the various Engineering and Weapons Departments. The main focus of the lab is to support small satellite development projects for both students and faculty. While the key objective of the program is education and training of the Midshipmen, the satellite lab at the USNA is also dedicated to conducting cutting-edge research in space system technology. One of the current USNA satellite projects, NSat, will demonstrate on-orbit operation of advanced communication payloads, including a TDRS transponder developed by NASA GSFC.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The Space Systems Engineering Program (SSEP) is a co-curricular program in the College of Engineering and Mines (CEM) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). SSEP goals are to (1) provide multidisciplinary engineering and science students with hands-on experience in all aspects of space systems engineering through a design, build, launch paradigm applied to balloon and rocket payloads and small satellites; (2) support earth system science and other planetary research through development of remote sensing instrumentation and small satellite missions; (3) establish collaborations across the university, government, and industry, in small satellite missions.
Our current mission, CubeSat Communication Platform (CCP) was selected as part of the Air Force Research Lab University Nanosat Program. CCP is a communication testbed that will allow on-orbit verification and validation of multiple communication technologies and protocols aimed at maximizing the information throughput.
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia Small Satellite Research Laboratory (SSRL) was founded in 2016 as a result of funding for two Cubesat missions, MOCI and SPOC. The SSRL performs research into landscape-scale Structure from Motion with Cubesats, along with developing new hyperspectral payloads to study coastal ecosystem health. The SSRL is also active in community outreach, and runs the premier Cubesat podcast: The Downlink. The Mapping and Ocean Color Imager (MOCI) is part of the UNP-9 program from AFRL and will use an RGB camera to demonstrate that 3D terrain models can be developed from a single Cubesat using Structure from Motion. The SPectral and Ocean Color Satellite (SPOC Sat) will host a moderate resolution hyperspectral payload capable of gathering 60 bands of data between 400-850 nm. SPOC is expected to be deployed from the International Space Station between 2018-2020 as a participant of NASA’s USIP-2 and CSLI-8 programs.
University of Minnesota - EXACT
The primary mission of EXACT is to accurately measure the time of arrival of hard X-ray (HXR) and soft γ-ray photons from pulsars to test and validate new techniques for clock synchronization (i.e. time-transfer) in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in GPS/GNSS-denied conditions. The secondary mission of EXACT is to measure solar X-ray photon energies and arrival times to study electron acceleration in solar flares which are major drivers of space weather events. Data from EXACT will be used be post-processed to validate pulsar-based clock synchronization techniques and theoretical models behind space weather events.
University of Pittsburgh – NSF SHREC Center
The NSF Center for Space, High-performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC) is a national consortium under the Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program at NSF. Its primary theme is mission-critical computing, in terms of space computing for Earth, space, and defense science, high-performance computing and data analytics for grand-challenge apps, and resilient computing for harsh or critical environments.
The Center consist of four universities (University of Pittsburgh, Brigham Young University, University of Florida, Virginia Tech) and over 30 industry and government partners, including many of the leading organizations in the US space program. SHREC features a broad range of R&D projects in space computing, sensing, communications, storage, and operations, including four active ISS technology experiments (two in flight, two in development) with NASA and DoD support, and world-class students and facilities.
Western Michigan University
Western Aerospace Launch Initiative (WALI) is a student organization at Western Michigan University’s (WMU) College of Engineering and Applied Sciences developing the Plasma Spectroscopy (P-Spec) CubeSat mission. The mission aims to demonstrate a new, on-orbit probe package technology, utilizing non-invasive, optical emission spectroscopy (OES) of plasma plumes emitted from electric propulsion (EP) systems.