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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

SSDL is pleased to welcome the following new graduate students into the lab this Fall: Lyndy Axon, Thomas Choi, Parker Francis, Fan Geng, Zach Levine, Daniel Marsillach, Evan Roelke, Terry Stevenson, Jason Swenson, Shez Virani and Michael Werner.

In August, SSDL alumnus Zach Putnam began his academic career at the University of Illinois. Zach earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia Tech and was a member of SSDL from August 2005 through May 2006 and August 2010 through May 2015.

On July 28, 2015 Dr. Robert Braun testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology. He was one of five expert witnesses invited to address the topic, "Exploration of the Solar System: From Mercury to Pluto and Beyond". The purpose of this hearing was to review recent NASA achievements in exploring the solar system, including the exploration of Pluto and the asteroid Ceres, as well as assess the future of our nation's planetary exploration program.

Congratulations to SSDL professor, Dr. Dave Spencer, and the team of Georgia Tech students who supported operations of the Planetary Society's LightSail-A spacecraft. This mission marks the first time that Georgia Tech students have participated directly in the operation of a spaceflight project through the SSDL Mission Operations Center. Dr. Spencer served as the Mission Manager for the LightSail-A project and was responsible for the day-to-day operation of this spacecraft. LightSail-A was a solar sail deployment shakedown flight that paves the way for a full-fledged solar sailing demonstration in 2016. For this second mission, a nearly identical solar sail spacecraft (LightSail-B) will ride to orbit within the Georgia Tech Prox-1 microsatellite. Once on-orbit, Prox-1 will deploy LightSail-B and provide on-orbit inspection of the LightSail-B solar sail deployment event.

In May 2015, at the American Astronautical Society conference Astronauts and Robots: Partners in Space Science and Exploration in Pasadena CA, Professor Braun received the inaugural AAS Space Technology Award "for extraordinary contributions in technology to enable the landing of vehicles on other planets, and for creating NASA technology development programs designed to build our nation's future space capabilities and solve grand societal challenges on Earth."

Congratulations to SSDL alumnus Ian Clark who was inducted into the Georgia Tech College of Engineering Council of Outstanding Young Alumni in May 2015. Ian received this honor for his efforts at JPL as the principal investigator of NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator project. Ian earned his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech's School of Aerospace Engineering in August 2009, performing this research in SSDL.

Congratulations to SSDL alumnus and Purdue University Professor Michael Grant who was recognized for excellence in teaching with the c2015 School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Elmer F. Bruhn Best Teacher Award as voted upon by the Purdue undergraduates. This is the second teaching award Mike has received since joining the Purdue faculty in 2012. He earned his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech's School of Aerospace Engineering in May 2012, performing this research in SSDL.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate student, Francesca Favaro, who was awarded the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship for the second time in three years.

Congratulations to SSDL professor, Dr. Joseph H. Saleh, who was recognized by the Journal of Engineering Design for his 2009 article, "Flexibility:a Multi-disciplinary Literature Review and a Research Agenda for Designing Flexible Engineering Systems" as the fourth most read and cited paper in the journal's archives.

Congratulations to Zach Putnam and David Spencer who earned their Ph.D. degrees and to Hisham Ali, Mariusz Grøtte, Kip Hart, Casey Heidrich and Nicole Tyman who received M.S. degrees in the May 2015 commencement.

Congratulations to SSDL undergraduate research scholar, Shelby Bottoms, who received the 2015 Outstanding Undergraduate Award for the Southeast Region awarded by Sigma Gamma Tau. In the past decade, three of the five Georgia Tech students chosen for this presitigious award have been members of the Space Systems Design Lab. Established in 1953, Sigma Gamma Tau is the honor society for Aerospace Engineering. It seeks to identify and recognize achievement and excellence in the Aerospace field.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate student Casey Heidrich who was awarded a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship beginning in August 2015.

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.