Exploration and Space Technology (EaST) Laboratory

Mechanical and aerospace engineering disciplines have historically provided many of the tools necessary for the exploration of our local “universe”, ranging from space probes to deep submersibles. The Exploration and Space Technology (EaST) Laboratory is designed to introduce students to advanced research in all manner of technologies with applications to astronautic, aeronautic, terranautic, aquanautic, and bionautic exploration.  Exploration vehicles, subsystems, and components are enabled by high performance materials, advanced diagnostic development, and progress in the understanding of natural phenomena.  A better understanding of complex systems operating in unknown and often extreme environments is required to further human and robotic exploration of our universe.  The National Science Foundation (NSF), along with the National Academy of Engineering, has identified the enhancement of exploration as a Grand Challenge in Engineering.  Exploration truly embodies the spirit of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. 

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(photos by A. Ketsdever)


Synergistic Benefits

          Cutting Edge Research – Understanding of complex systems – Scientific understanding














Exploration Research

·       Advanced Propulsion Concepts

·       Advanced Power Concepts

·         Sustainable Energy Collection and Transport

·       Micro-scale System Development

·       Atomic and Molecular Acceleration

·       Near-Space Propulsion

·       Hypersonic Flows

·       Space Environments

·       Asteroid Defense


·       Chamber for Atmospheric and Orbital Space Simulation (ChAOSS)

·       Micropropulsion Test Facility (mPTF)

·       High Energy Laser Laboratory (HELL)

·       Nano-Newton Thrust Stand (nNTS)

EaST Team Members

·        Barry Cornella (PhD Student)

o   Radiometric Flow Studies for Near Space Applications

·        Lt. Col. (Ret.) Peter Szyjka (PhD Student)

o   Deposition Rates of Low Energy Sputtered Materials

·        2nd Lt. Wayne Black (MS Student)

o   Low Reynolds Number Nozzle Flows

·        2nd Lt. Max Poppler (MS Student)

o   Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy

·        2nd Lt. Lucas Derby (MS Student)

o   High Delta-V Micropropulsion

·        Jacob Graul (MS Student)

o   Optical Cavities

·        Ryan Bosworth (Undergrad)

o   Space Simulation Facility Characterization

·        Trey Quiller (Undergrad)

o   Charge Exchange

·        Austin Ventura (Undergrad)

o   Radiometric Force Measurements

·        Carlos Maldonado (Undergrad)

o   Atomic Oxygen Source


Recent Graduates

·       Maj. Thomas Joslyn (PhD), Dissertation: Charging Effects on Fluid Stream Droplets for Momentum Exchange Between Spacecraft

·       2nd Lt. Anthony O’Shea (MS)

·       2nd Lt. Jacob Schonig (MS)


Selected EaST Lab Research Papers and Presentations


·       T. Joslyn, “Charging Effects on Fluid Stream Droplets for Momentum Exchange Between Spacecraft,” PhD Dissertation, UCCS, Dec. 2009.

·       A. Ketsdever, “Exploration and Space Technology Laboratory”, Featured Speaker, Mountain Lion Research Day, 3 April 2009.

·       EaST Lab Poster Presentation, Mountain Lion Research Day, 3 April 2009.

·       Shawn Laabs, “Propulsion Subsystem Thermal Modeling for the FalconSat-5 MicrospacecraftUCCS Undergraduate Research Journal, July 2009.

·       Sean Hammerland and Barry Cornella, “A Critical Analysis of Solid Rocket Motor Thrust Augmentation Using Beamed Power”, AIAA Student Conference, 22 April 2009.


·       Sean Hammerland and Barry Cornella, “Beamed Energy Propulsion,” Colorado Undergraduate Research Forum, Poster, 11 April 2009.

·       T. Lilly, Atomic and Molecular Acceleration Via One-Dimensional Optical Lattice, MAE Research Seminar, 30 Jan 2009.

·       A. Ketsdever and M. Young (AFRL/RZSA), Advanced Propulsion Concepts for Space Access, MAE Research Seminar, 13 Feb 2009.

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