The Space Systems Laboratory gives students in the Aeronautical Engineering track of Aerospace Engineering the opportunity to utilize 3-D air bearings to simulate attitude and control of various spacecraft. They will also use the lab’s vacuum chambers to test satellite systems in space-like conditions. The laboratory has a roof-mounted antenna that enables students to track and communicate with satellites and the International Space Station (ISS).
One of the many research labs in the Aerospace Experimentation and Fabrication building, or AXFAB, this lab is used by both Engineering and Physics majors for research into experimental space systems, senior design projects, and NASA Space Grant Projects. A vacuum chamber inside allows for testing in a near-zero-pressure environment as well as a low-temperature chamber designed to simulate the environment in space. The lab also houses a satellite ground station that can communicate with the International Space Station, as well as orientation-control systems for current ERAU satellites in orbit. Current projects include the Arcjet project, a NASA Space Grant research project involving exotic space propulsion using non-chemical-based fuel sources, and a plasma thruster.