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Challenges Facing The Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory And Lessons Learned

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Undergraduate Spacecraft Design I

Tagged Division

Aerospace

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

12.350.1 - 12.350.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2265

Download Count

49

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Paper Authors

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Thomas Liu University of Michigan

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Graduate Student, Aerospace Engineering, liutm@umich.edu

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Christopher Deline University of Michigan

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Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

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Rafael Ramos University of Michigan

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Graduate Student, Space Systems

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Steven Sandoval University of Michigan

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Graduate Student, Aerospace Engineering

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Ashley Smetana University of Michigan

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Undergraduate Student, Aerospace Engineering

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Yang Li University of Michigan

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Graduate Student, Aerospace Engineering

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Richard Redick University of Michigan

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Undergraduate Student, Aerospace Engineering

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Julie Bellerose University of Michigan

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Graduate Student, Aerospace Engineering

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Peter Washabaugh University of Michigan

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Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering

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Bogdan Oaida University of Michigan

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Undergraduate Student, Aerospace Engineering

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Brian Gilchrist University of Michigan

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Professor, Electrical Engineering and Space Sciences

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Nilton Renno University of Michigan

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Associate Professor, Atmospheric and Space Sciences

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

CHALLENGES FACING THE STUDENT SPACE SYSTEMS FABRICATION LABORATORY AND LESSONS LEARNED

Abstract

The Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory (S3FL) is a student-led organization dedicated to providing students with practical space systems design and fabrication experience not readily available through the usual academic curriculum. S3FL’s approach is to enhance space systems engineering education by coupling classroom knowledge with practicum experience involving real engineering design, analysis, test, fabrication, integration, and operation of actual flight vehicles and payloads. Through a continuous learning process and by adapting to new challenges, S3FL has sustained itself despite the difficulties of accommodating an increasing number of student members. S3FL has also been able to maintain effective project leadership and technical expertise despite student turnover as well as to secure external support. The paper discusses the methods and strategies adopted by S3FL to address the challenges facing a student-run lab. Case studies of projects are also used to highlight important lessons learned over the years.

1 What is S3FL?

Since 1998, the Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory (S3FL) at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering has combined a formal design process with student creativity and spontaneity to train and provide students with opportunities for research in space systems design and development.1 Each year, S3FL involves over a hundred undergraduate and graduate students in realistic and intensive design-build-test activities ranging from balloon payloads to microgravity experiments to nanosatellites. By participating in the end-to-end development of complete space systems, students acquire knowledge and expertise that would otherwise take years of post-graduate experience to be achieved.

1.1 S3FL’s philosophy

A comprehensive education that prepares students to be strong contributors and leaders in their future careers requires an academic program of both classroom and practical components. Classroom settings provide the foundations of engineering analysis but cannot substitute for practical, hands-on experience gained from real-world problem solving in end-to-end projects. S3FL’s objective is to provide students with the opportunity to learn, develop, and practice the engineering, teamwork, management, and leadership skills required as members of the nation’s future space workforce.

S3FL offers students the following opportunities2: • Hands-on projects to apply classroom knowledge in real-world, interdisciplinary settings • Experience working through a complete design-build-test cycle • Development of a systems engineering mindset

Liu, T., & Deline, C., & Ramos, R., & Sandoval, S., & Smetana, A., & Li, Y., & Redick, R., & Bellerose, J., & Washabaugh, P., & Oaida, B., & Gilchrist, B., & Renno, N. (2007, June), Challenges Facing The Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory And Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2265

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