Welcome to the Space Systems Design Laboratory (SSDL)
The Space Systems Design Lab (SSDL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology creates space technologies and advanced mission concepts that enable new missions and capabilities in robotic and human space exploration. Research focuses on space flight applications and projects. We use modern engineering tools including mission design methodologies, systems engineering, additive manufacturing, simulation, optimization, sensing, estimation and control to propose, participate in, and operate space flight missions that conduct space science and demonstrate new technologies.
The SSDL is a multi-faculty, interdisciplinary research lab located within the School of Aerospace Engineering. The SSDL is currently directed by Prof. E. Glenn Lightsey. Prior SSDL Directors include David A. Spencer (2010-2016), Robert D. Braun (2003-2016), and John R. Olds (1998-2005).
Small Satellite Flight Projects
Full life cycle design from mission concept to operations
Space Technology Development
Technology maturation enabling new capabilities for spacecrafts
Mission Campaign Optimization
Applying optimization theory to design sequential missions
SSDL Professors Dr. Lightsey and Dr. Ho are featured in this semester's 'We are the Engineers' magazine by the College of Engineering for their work in advancing space exploration technology. Dr. Lightsey's work on his team's efforts to build autonomous miniature spacecrafts to match performance of large spacecrafts. Also mentioned was his work with developing propulsive technologies for use on CubeSats. Dr. Ho and his Space Systems Optimization Group's research on using mathematical models to solve space transportation logistics problem.
Dr. Brian Gunter's research group, along with a GTRI team led by Dr. Chris Valenta, have worked together to design and assemble the Orbital Calibration ("OrCa") 12U CubeSat. The spacecraft launched aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket on March 26th and was successfully deployed into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
Dr. Ho has been awarded a five year $500K National Science Foundation CAREER grant to address a grand challenge in complex system design: enabling the design of flexible large-scale complex systems under future operational uncertainties in demands, environment, and performance.
A group of more than 90 international scientists -- including our very own Dr. Brian Gunter - has released findings that indicate Greenland's ice loss between 1992 and 2018 is enough to push sea levels up by 10.6 millimeters.