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Active Research Projects

The Space Systems Design Studio performs fundamental research in spacecraft architecture. The driving question behind each of our spacecraft research projects is:

How can spacecraft accomplish more with limited resources in space?

We seek ways to use limited resources and little-known effects in orbit to give spacecraft new capabilities or make current capabilities more efficient.

Select one of the links on the right of this page to learn more about the active projects in our lab.


Our team members conduct their work in simulation and laboratory experiments. We have lab space at Cornell University with CMG, flux pinning, and MII/LAO testbeds and experiments including motion capture equipment, clean rooms, air table simulators, and a thermal vacuum chamber.

In addition, the MII team utilizes the neighboring Cornell Nanofabrication Facility.

Past Projects

Previous research projects include a "hopping" gyroscopic rover for planetary exploration.

Sprite Spacecraft

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Spacecraft systems printed on small wafers of silicon enable novel sensing and exploration architectures.

Flux-Pinned Spacecraft

Flux Pinning

Magnets and supercondcutors connect modular spacecraft without physical contact.

Eddy Current Actuators

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Changing magnetic fields provide non-contacting actuation for spacecraft.

CubeSat Propulsion

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Small-scale propulsion systems will allow CubeSat-class spacecraft to explore the solar system.

CMG Robotics

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Space robotic systems use control-moment gyroscopes as low-power, high-torque actuators.

Lorentz-Augmented Orbits

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Charged spacecraft achieve non-Keplerian orbits when they pass through magnetic fields.