About the Lab
The lab is currently undergoing a period of expansion with the upcoming opening of the Toomey Hall expansion. The lab will be moving from our current location into the new expansion in April 2008.
The lab houses facilities and equipment used in developing space technologies. Some of the more notable are listed below.
Class 100 Cleanroom
A cleanroom is required for assembly of a spacecraft in order to prevent contamination from accumulating on the parts. Such contamination can react in reduced gravity in ways which will damage the spacecraft.
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Safe Workbench
The development of electronics requires an environment which reduces the likelihood of static shock. A static shock through a microchip can damage it beyond use and require an entire circuit board to be re-fabricated.
As with any engineering project, computers play an integral role in the development of a space system. We use ours to run numerical analyses of structural and thermal subsystems, in the design of electronic circuits, and writing software.
We also cooperate with the department and other laboratories across campus for equipment and facilities we don't have ourselves. Some of the notable collaborations are described below.
The machine shop located in Toomey Hall has CNC machines, a rapid prototyper, as well as a variety of other tools. The machine shop staff also assists in fabricating parts and operating machines.
The EMC lab is part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. They've assisted the lab with communications design as well as EMC design for electronics. When projects are completed, we have arranged for them to test the parts to the official Department of Defense standards using their facilities.
The SSE lab has collaborated with the Rock Mechanics & Explosives Research Center to produce several structural panels for our micro-satellites using Missouri S&T patented Waterjet technology. Using the Waterjet greatly reduced the time required to produce our designs compared to a standard CNC machine.