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Thesis Opportunities

The Spacecraft Research and Design Center (SRDC), analytical and experimental research is performed to enhance future DoD systems such as Laser Communications, Advanced Electro-Optical Imaging, and High Energy Lasers (HEL). These systems require advancement in acquisition, tracking and pointing technologies, optical beam jitter control, adaptive optics, beam control for high energy lasers, flexible spacecraft and structure control, and space system design.

SRDC offers opportunities for hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology in various research areas related to future DoD missions. Technologies developed under various research programs can be directly applicable to future national security space, air and maritime systems. Working with SRDC will also provide opportunities to develop connections with program sponsors you could work for in the future. Faculty from ECE, MAE, Physics and Space Ops support their student’s work at SRDC and additional support is also available from three full-time research faculty, two engineers, and one research assistant.

Following is the list of current research programs at the SRDC:

Large Aperture Lightweight Space Based Optics
Development of adaptive optics control and sensors

On-Orbit System Identification and Slew Maneuvering
Development of slew maneuver control for flexible spacecraft

Adaptive Pointing Control for Spacecraft
Adaptive control to account for uncertainty in spacecraft inertia and structural natural frequencies

Advanced Inertial Reference Unit (aIRU)
Upgrade jitter control algorithms

Beam Control of Tactical HEL
System architecture, beam control, optics, control, and structures optimization

Maritime Beam Control for HEL
Tracking maritime targets in a high clutter ocean environment (solar glint, high sea states, white caps, intermittent contact), fine pointing of a laser beam in a highly dynamic maritime environment with atmospheric turbulence, aimpoint maintenance on a highly maneuvering target

Satellite Operations: OS/COMET and FLTSATCOM
Provides actual spaceflight and ground control hardware for the development and use of custom software, and experimental work involving hardware-in-the-loop, partial-simulation, or full-simulation satellite operation exercises

Space Based Persistence Surveillance Systems, Operationally Responsive Space Systems

If interested in working at SRDC for your thesis, please contact us.