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.

Space Systems Engineering

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.


  1. Dr. Sanjay Jayaram, Director
    [sjayaram at slu.edu]

  2. Dr. Michael Swartwout, co-Director
    [mswartwo at slu.edu]

  3. Dr. Kyle Mitchell
    [mitchekk at slu.edu]

Graduate Students

  1. Ashley Fleming

  1. 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.

  2. 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 Winter 2015 as part of the ORS-4/ELaNa-VII mission.

  3. 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.

Current Projects

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.

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