Engineering at LASP

LASP Engineering uses its cutting-edge mix of on-site facilities, skilled personnel, and close collaboration with scientists to build, test, and calibrate spacecraft, instruments, and components. (Courtesy LASP)

For more than half a century, the Engineering division at LASP has developed space flight instruments and small spacecraft in support of the goals and objectives of LASP space science. LASP engineers have demonstrated proficiency in the design of spacecraft and instruments, coupled with a depth of technical expertise and business systems organization that mirror those of a small aerospace company.

The proximity of scientists and engineers at LASP maximizes scientific return by enabling dynamic, collaborative interaction and the exchange of ideas. Problems are addressed quickly. Experience gained by developing hardware in-house is retained and passed on to future projects. Our heritage contributes in great part to our excellent performance record.

CU undergraduate and graduate students are active contributors to the LASP engineering design process. Under the supervision of professional staff members, student team members participate in all aspects of instrument development. Past examples include the Student Nitric Oxide Explorer, the Solar Mesosphere Explorer, and the Student Dust Counter.

The engineering division demonstrates expertise in the following areas:

  • Project management and systems engineering
  • Structure and mechanism design
  • Stress and thermal analysis
  • Optical design and detector development for x-ray to infrared wavelengths
  • Development of flight-level electronics for instrument control, and collection and downlink of science and housekeeping data
  • Parts engineering and procurement expertise
  • Extensive flight fabrication capability with certified assembly staff
  • Flight software development
  • Vacuum and thermal environmental testing facilities
  • Verification and validation capability with NIST-traceable calibration standards
  • Rigorous quality and safety assurance techniques
  • ISO 9001 Compliance