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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Advanced Space Technologies Research and Engineering Center
Article Type: University and research news From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 21, Issue 6
To regain its competitive edge, the US space industry needs to return to a paradigm that demands – and produces – innovation. This paradigm of innovation will lead to faster product delivery, greater functionality, increased cost-effectiveness, and “smart” risk-tolerance.
The Advanced Space Technologies Research and Engineering Center (ASTREC) is an NSF accredited I/UCRC that offers the space industry a responsive, cost effective approach to space exploration. To achieve this objective, the Center performs multidisciplinary research in the areas of small satellite technologies. The Center utilises a design-build-fly philosophy to accomplish rapid transitions from low technology readiness levels to actual flight test. The emphasis will be on small satellite systems, particularly pico- and nano-class satellites since they inherently are technology drivers due to their mass, volume and power constraints. Furthermore, pico and nano-satellites are economically feasible and may provide rapid access to space for on-orbit technology validation.
The ASTREC serves the small satellite industries through focused R&D, significant technology transfer, and a strong educational program.
ASTREC's small satellite R&D utilises concurrent design practices that are mission focused. Along with its member companies, ASTREC's faculty/staff jointly develops the Center's R&D projects with emphasis on enhancing the state-of-the-art of the following subsystems:
Guidance, Navigation and Control.
Command and Data Handling.
Communications and Telemetry.
Structure and Thermal.
These R&D efforts are both applied and fundamental, with the fundamental efforts focusing on future technologies to enable advances in the next generation of small satellites.
A major component of the Center's activities is focused on educational delivery (K-20) and workforce development. The Center's academic institutions currently have numerous courses related to satellite technologies and is developing a comprehensive small satellite systems engineering program that will attract high-quality students at the BS, MS and PhD level. By providing hands-on-experience (i.e. building, launching and operating actual hardware) ASTREC will develop students for the benefit of the space industry.