Space Technologies Laboratory
The Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) performs research into spaceflight-qualified hardware and algorithms. Research in this facility is keyed to understanding proximity operations, relative motion, optical navigation, and design and test capabilities especially for nano-satellites. This is directly related to the design, build, test, and operation of small satellite technologies.
- 400 square foot class 10,000 clean room for assembly and integration of spaceflight hardware. Hard-walled with a 2 x 2 x 2 cubic foot pass-through box, 8 x 8 foot gowning area, and removable panel to accommodate large payloads. Computers, electronic equipment, bench, storage space, and hand tools are available for integration and test.
- The ultra-high thermal vacuum chamber offers a 1 x 1 x 1 cubic meter test area with vacuum down to 4E-7 Torr and thermal limits from -90 to +90 C. The chamber has two turbo pumps allowing it to reach 1e-4 Torr in about 30 or less of pump time (1e-4 Torr is a nominal NASA requirement for vacuum testing). The chamber has three access ports, and we currently have feed through connectors/flanges for optical, 4xUSB, fiber optic, 50-pin, and Ethernet.
- The optical calibration and test system provides a 6 x 4 foot air-leveled table with Imperial (1 inch) hole pattern. Multiple camera sensors and a space environment “dark box” are available.
- Sawyer 7DOF robots for use as a proximity operation and optical sensors testbed.