Space Systems Engineering Laboratory

This facility supports two primary purposes:

Facilitation of the design and fabrication of small spacecraft to be placed into orbit around the Earth. The students that use this lab will be primarily graduate students and those in the senior design class who choose to focus on spacecraft design.

Support of the overall astronautics curriculum through individual experiments that focus on one or more disciplines of spaceflight, including, for example, structures, thermal, attitude, power, orbit determination/tracking, etc.

In support of the spacecraft design and fabrication activity, the lab houses various equipment, tooling, and computers. The following are just a few of these items:

A clean room hood to provide a pristine environment for the construction of spacecraft suitable for actual spaceflight

A ground station for control and command of the spacecraft

Various testing equipment

In support of the overall aeronautics curriculum, the facility includes an operational NOAA ground station. Images of the Missouri area, including visible and infrared spectra, are down-linked from various NOAA spacecraft. A number of lab experiments can be supported with such a ground station, including the demonstration of concepts of orbit determination, satellite tracking, remote sensing, and data analysis.

The lab supports four courses in the aerospace engineering curriculum:

AE 213 Aerospace Mechanics I

AE 301A Spacecraft Design I

AE 301B Spacecraft Design II

AE 314 Spaceflight Mechanics