Please Pardon the Mess, as we transfer the previous site's contents to this new server 
(Fall 2015)

Space Systems Research Laboratory
Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology Saint Louis University
The Mission of the Space Systems Research Laboratory is to perform world-class research in the design, fabrication and operation of space systems, and to produce world-class space systems engineers.
Space Systems Engineering
A space system consists of all of the elements necessary to complete a successful space mission: spacecraft, launch vehicle, ground operations, etc. Often, it is the behavior of the system as a whole that determines success or failure, not the optimal design of any one part.

At SSRL, our emphasis is on the end-to-end system; it informs our research activities as well as how we train our students.

Current Projects

Argus, a 2U CubeSat developed in partnership with Vanderbilt University to improve modeling of the effects of radiation on modern space electronics. It is SSRL’s entry in the AFRL University Nanosat-7 competition, and was selected by NASA to launch in October 2015 as part of the ORS-4/ELaNa-VII mission.
Rascal, a 6U mission to demonstrate key technologies for proximity operations and space situational awareness. Rascal has been selected by NASA to fly in 2016.

Past Projects

COPPER, a 1U CubeSat to flight-test the use of a commercial microbolometer (long-wave infrared imager) for Earth observing and space situational awareness. COPPER was SSRL’s entry in the AFRL University Nanosat-6 competition and was launched in November 2013 as part of the ORS-3/ELaNa-IV mission.

Graduate Students

  • Ashley Fleming

Get Involved!
There are many ways to participate in SSRL: graduate research, undergraduate research, student volunteer, summer intern, senior design and through our formal coursework. Click here for more options.


  • Argus Did Not Reach Orbit The ORS-4 launch experienced a failure during first stage ascension. Here are various reports from news outlets The SLU Newslink Story Coverage from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch The ...
    Posted Nov 5, 2015, 7:46 AM by Michael Swartwout
  • Argus is GO for launch (again) New launch date: 3 November 2015Same launch window, opening at 3pm Hawaii Time (7pm Central Standard Time)
    Posted Nov 2, 2015, 8:50 PM by Michael Swartwout
  • Argus on Launch Hold The ORS-4 launch is on hold. We will update the new launch date as we know more.
    Posted Oct 29, 2015, 10:24 AM by Michael Swartwout
  • Rascal-B Has Left the Building (but will return) Congratulations to the Rascal-B design team; the first version of the engineering unit was shipped to Boeing on Tuesday morning. Boeing will perform mechanical/electrical/data fit checks and ...
    Posted Oct 29, 2015, 10:23 AM by Michael Swartwout
  • Dr. Swartwout at FOEE Dr. Swartwout was one of 70 faculty from across the country participating in the 2015 Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium, organized by the National Academy of Engineering.
    Posted Oct 29, 2015, 10:21 AM by Michael Swartwout
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