The 2018 Undergraduate Exhibition

The G-Chaser PAWSS payload team is developing a student-designed engineering payload with the scientific mission of conducting in situ measurements of the D region of the atmosphere. The team hopes to provide in situ measurements of the D region in order to study the phenomenon called polar mesosphere winter echoes.

The PAWSS science team will be at the HUB-Robeson Center on April 18, 2018 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM to present their poster on the science behind how we study polar mesosphere winter echoes through sounding rocket experiments and the process of designing and building a space grade scientific experiment from the ground up.


Come out and support the PAWSS science team!

Testing Continues!

Over the weekend testing commenced on the Clyde Space 3rd Generation EPS, to be flown on our CubeSat OSIRIS-3U. There were some issues with the test bench code, but they were quickly overcome. There is now a defined procedure for turning the EPS on and off safely.

Ed and Dan conducting tests on the EPS.

The test setup that was used.

Keep your eyes peeled for more updates as we continue testing!

STP Rocket Launch a Roaring Success!

Last Saturday our two STP teams launched their rockets and payloads.

STP students hard at work finalizing their payloads the night before the launch.

STP students hard at work finalizing their payloads the night before the launch.

The launch is the culmination of an entire semester worth of work. The students first design their payload and its housing, then they test their design, construct their rocket and payload, and in the last week of the semester they finally launch their rocket.

STP is used as an on-ramping program into SSPL. The program exposes students to systems engineering principles and gives them hands on project experience. We have found that once students get in and get their hands dirty they are prepared to work on the full gamut of project within SSPL.

This year we had two teams, Team Kerbal and Team Coma Toast. Both groups were able to create fully functioning payloads that recorded altitude, acceleration, pressure, and GPS position. In addition to measuring the above, both groups were able to radio down their position to the ground via a a wireless link. Team Kerbal even had their data streaming into a SQL database and had the various measured parameters displayed on graphs.


Team Coma Toast pictured with their rocket and payload

Team Coma Toast pictured with their rocket and payload

Team Kerbal pictured with their rocket and payload

Team Kerbal pictured with their rocket and payload

All in all this year was a roaring success. Everyone who was involved showed incredible drive and determination. Speaking for all of SSPL we are excited to work with all students involved in the future. Thank you to everyone involved!

A special thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday in support of STP and helped make this semester’s launch a possibility!

Thank you SSPL!

Posted in STP

Thank you Lockheed Martin!

The Penn State Student Space Programs Lab would like to thank Paul Mittan and Lockheed Martin Corporation for their vary generous donation. This will be used for the continued development of Lab infrastructure and our CubeSat OSIRIS-3U.

On the behalf of all the students in SSPL, thank you very much!

STP Rocket Launch a Roaring Success

Early Saturday morning our two STP teams, “The Dream Team” and “Bx8”, and their mentors made the trek through the fog and frost down to the fields behind Beaver Stadium to launch the culmination of a semester’s worth of work. Each semester we run our Student Training Program, or STP, which consists of designing a small rockect payload, constructing the rocket and eventually launching it into the skies. The payloads this year measuered pressure, altitude, temperature, captured GPS points, and recorded video. Lets all give a round of applause for our two STP teams for all of their hard work.


The first of our STP teams, Bx8.


Our second STP team, The Dream Team.

One of our groups managed to capture some incredible video as their payload floated back down to earth, which can be found here.

To close this all out we’ll leave you with a photo of one of the rockets immediately after launch.

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