The AggieSat Laboratory exists to develop and demonstrate modern technologies for space systems while educating students in systems engineering and enriching the university experience. We have been doing exactly that since Dr. Helen Reed brought the lab to Texas A&M University in 2005.
All of our projects are designed from the start by students, providing them the opportunity to develop skills that are useful to them in school and in their professional careers. In the past, students have been asked to create CAD models, run thermal and finite element analyses, write ground station and satellite software, run Monte Carlo simulations, and perform many other tasks that yield the kind of invaluable experience so sought after in the professional world.
We design, then we build. Echoing the sorts of procedural clean room methodologies employed by satellite industry powerhouses, our students painstakingly develop and execute detailed plans of action for the manufacture, assembly, and testing of our projects.
We don’t build projects just for the experience of design and manufacturing; we also operate them. From the ground, we can download scientific data, upload software patches and position data, and issue operational commands to our active satellite missions. Our other project teams similarly operate their systems to achieve their objectives, gaining hands-on experience in the process.