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  • 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).

Focus Areas

Small Satellite Flight Projects

Full life cycle design from mission concept to operations

Space Technology Development

Technology maturation enabling new capabilities for spacecraft

Mission Campaign Optimization

Applying optimization theory to design sequential missions

Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation and Control

Creating new methods for spacecraft control

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Two SSDL students Onalli Gunasekara and Brandon Colón have been awarded prestigious fellowships by DoD and NASA. These fellowships will support their PhD research.

Congratulations to William Jun, who passed his Ph.D. Qualifying Exam!

Students from SSDL attended the virtual AIAA Science and Technology Forum 2021 conference to present their research.

Congratulations to the Fall 2020 graduates : Nathan Cheek, Nathan Daniel, William Jun, Mohamed Nassif, Ali Talaksi and Rohan Thatarvarthi!!

Students from SSDL attended the virtual AIAA ASCEND 2020 conference to present their research. Below are the papers that were presented

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