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Advanced Space Technologies Research and Engineering Center

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Advanced Space Technologies Research and Engineering Center, an NSF Inudstry/University Cooperative Research Center, conducts multidisciplinary research on small satellite technologies as a cost-effective approach to space utilization and exploration. The center uses a "design-build-fly" philosophy to move technologies quickly from low technology-readiness levels to flight test--offering the space industry a new paradigm for innovation.  The research emphasizes small satellite systems, particularly pico- and nano-class satellites, which are inherent technology drivers due to their mass, volume, and power constraints.  Furthermore, pico- and nano-satellites are economically feasible and provide rapid access to space for on-orbit technology validation. 

 NSF's I/UCRC program features industrially relevant fundamental research, strong industrial support and collaboration in research and education, and direct transfer of research results to U.S. industry, improving its competitive posture in world markets. With industrial and other support totaling 10-15 times the NSF investment, I/UCRCs are a premier example of how to leverage federal funding to synergize the research and development process.

Education & Outreach

An I/UCRC not only contributes to the nation's research infrastructure base; it also enhances the intellectual capacity of the engineering and science workforce through the integration of research and education. The program leverages NSF funding with industry resources to support graduate students performing industrially relevant and interdisciplinary research.

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  • Images from NSF-funded Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers.
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