Infrastructure Overview

C-STAR has many campus resources that enable and support the advancement of space technology. In addition to many laboratory and computational facilities, C-STAR faculty and student researchers have access to:

Flight Hardware Laboratory

This 400-square-foot facility in the Engineering Science and Mechanics building contains a Class 100,000 clean room, ESD-safe workbenches, electrical test equipment, and soldering facilities.

Mission Operations Center

Space flight missions can be operated from the Mission Operations Center, a 540-square-foot facility in the Engineering Science & Mechanics building. Computer consoles for system montoring and data analysis are provided for each spacecraft subsystem as well as the mission director.

Tracking Station

This 3 m diameter, rotor-driven antenna system, mounted on the roof of the Montgomery Knight building, provides horizon-to-horizon command and data downlink capabilities for spacecraft. The tracking station has S-band receive capabilities through the main antenna and UHF uplink and downlink capabilities through a co-mounted Yagi antenna. The antennae are connected to a Kenwood TS-2000X transceiver and an Icom IC-R9500 receiver.

Telescopes

A Raven-class telescope is in development that will allow tracking of in-space objects for detection and experimentation with novel control methods. This telescope is capable of seeing objects as small as 10 cm in diameter at altitudes of 1,000 km horizon-to-horizon with a pointing accuracy better than 5 arc seconds. Georgia Tech also has a 16" class telescope located on the roof of the Howey Physics building.


Raven-class Telescope (from: http://www.officinastellare.com/products_scheda.php?idProd=6)

Spacecraft Simulator for Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking

This facility offers an integrated attitude control system for experimental testing of advanced attitude determination and control algorithms. The Integrated Attitude Control Simulator, located in the Montgomery Knight building, consists of a cylindrical platform situated on an air bearing table that allows friction-free rotation about three axes and translation in two dimension. The platform includes a variety of actuators and sensors: gas thrusters, variable-speed controlled momentum gyros (which can operate in a reaction wheel or in a control momentum gyro mode), a two-axial sun sensor, a high-precision three-axial rate gyro, a three-axial magnetometer, an inertial measurement unit, on-board and ceiling-mounted cameras, and 2D and 3D laser scanners.

Mechanical Fabrication Facilities

A large number of machine shops across campus, including the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Machine Shop, are available for fabricating various mechanical components. In addition, Georgia Tech’s Invention Studio is a design-build-test space in the Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex that allows rapid prototyping as well as detailed machining of parts. Capabilities at the Invention Studio include 3D printing, CNC milling and routing, and laser and waterjet cutting.