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Space Systems Design Laboratory

Space Systems Design Laboratory

Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0150
Phone: 404.894.7783
Fax: 404.894.2760

News & Events

Congratulations to the RECONSO team led by Assistant Professor Marcus Holzinger. For the second time in as many years, a SSDL designed satellite has been scrutinized, funded, and approved for launch by AFOSR's University Nanosatellite Program. A team of more than 40 undergraduate and graduate students worked two years to develop the RECONSO mission and flight system. RECONSO will place a low-cost optical payload in low Earth orbit to detect and track space objects, providing data that will contribute to the Space Object Catalog. With launch slated for 2017, RECONSO is the second in a series of small spacecraft being built by SSDL students (Prox-1 is scheduled for launch in May 2016).

In January 2015, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) announced the selection of SSDL Professor E. Glenn Lightsey into the 2015 Class of AIAA Fellows. AIAA confers the distinction of Fellow upon individuals in recognition of their notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences or technology of aeronautics and astronautics. AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members.

SSDL is pleased to welcome new graduate students Tyler Anderson, Andrew Fear, Michael Herman, Christopher McBryde and Adam Snow in Spring 2015.

The American Astronautical Society (AAS) recently announced the election of SSDL Professor David Spencer to its Board of Directors. Founded in 1954, the AAS is recognized for the excellence of its technical meetings, symposia, publications and its impact on the U.S. space program. The organization has more than 1,400 members worldwide and produces one of the field's leading aerospace publications, the Journal of Astronautical Sciences. Professor Spencer will serve a three-year term.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate student Jason Ginn who received an M.S. degree in the December 2014 commencement ceremony. Jason is now employed at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Professor E. Glenn Lightsey will join the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering and the Space Systems Design Laboratory in January 2015. Professor Lightsey is a well accomplished educator, researcher, and technologist. He has developed and operated five LEO spacecraft with two additional spacecraft slated for launch by 2015, each with well-defined scientific and technological objectives. His research focuses on the technology of satellites, with a focus on novel guidance, navigation, and control technologies, proximity operations, spacecraft rendezvous, formation flying, and space systems engineering. He has received the Institute of Navigation's Tycho Brahe Award (2004), the American Society for Engineering Education's John Leland Atwood Award (2011), and the William David Blunk Memorial Professorship (2011). Professor Lightsey is also the founder of Austin Satellite Design, LLC, a small company that commercializes space technology for small satellites.

Professor Robert D. Braun has been selected by the California Institute of Technology for its, Moore Distinguished Scholar Program. Professor Braun will begin residency on the Pasadena campus in January 2015, returning to Georgia Tech in the Fall 2015 semester.

Congratulations to SSDL undergraduate research scholar, Veronica Foreman, who was named the 2014 Undergraduate Woman of Distinction at the Women's Leadership Conference held at Georgia Tech on Saturday, October 25. Veronica was one of 5 women honored for her accomplishments and was awarded a $1000 scholarship.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate students Hisham Ali, Dave Blette, Tim Murphy, and Adam Sidor who successfully passed the AE Ph.D. qualifying exams in October 2014.

NASA and SpaceX are working together to analyze data on how a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's first stage returned to Earth during a cargo launch to the ISS on September 21. Led by Professor Braun, principal investigator of the Propulsive Descent Technologies (PDT) Project, this research effort is focused on helping SpaceX land Falcon 9 on Earth and NASA put humans on Mars.

In August 2014, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) announced the selection of Professor Robert D. Braun as Editor-In-Chief of the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets (JSR). This seminal aerospace journal is devoted to reporting significant developments and advancements in the science and technology of spacecraft, missiles, and reentry devices including system and subsystem design, innovative applications, mission design and analysis, environmental interactions, instrumentation, space operations, and space sciences. The JSR Editor-in-Chief is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the journal's quality and reputation as well as establishing a strategic vision for the journal. Professor Braun will serve an initial three-year term.