Center for Aerospace Structures (CAS)
Hosted by the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, the Center for Aerospace Structures is an interdisciplinary research center charged with advancing the technology of aerospace structures. Government agencies sponsor the center along with private industry. Research focuses on the balanced development of analytical, computational, and experimental methods for the effective design, modeling, and analysis of aircraft and space structures.
Specific research areas include computational and experimental structural dynamics and control; conceptual and preliminary design of space structures; distributed control-structure interaction; electrothermomagnetic and phase-change interactions; fluid-structure interaction; methods and software for simulation of structures; nonlinear finite element analysis of aerospace structures; simulation and testing of deployable and inflatable structures; and system identification and failure detection.
CAS was founded in April 1986 as the Center for Space Structures and Control by K.C. Park and C.A. Felippa. The name was changed in 1993 to match an increasing focus on structures, as well as gradual expansion into research areas of aircraft technology. The center's current director is Charbel Farhat. caswww.colorado.edu
Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR)
The Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research was established in 1985 as part of CU's commitment to developing a program of excellence in space science. CCAR is a multidisciplinary group involving faculty, staff, and students from the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences. The research program emphasizes astrodynamics, satellite oceanography, meteorology, geodesy, and terrestrial vegetation studies.
CCAR has integrated the research and learning environments through a wide range of research projects involving technical support from undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students; post-doctoral fellows, and professional staff. This technical expertise is coupled with extensive in-house computational facilities and collaboration with other universities, private industry, and government laboratories, enabling CCAR to provide research support in a variety of areas.
Examples include development and application of precision orbit determination for a US/French oceanographic satellite mission; specialized ocean circulation modeling; extraction of ocean signal from satellite altimeter and radiometer data; mapping of terrestrial vegetation changes; and use of the Global Positioning System for satellite attitude and orbit determination, and measurement of sea level and ocean currents using ocean buoys. A new area of research is the use of GPS signals reflected from the ocean surface to determine wind speed and direction. We are also researching the use of GPS reflected signals for determining soil moisture and sea ice conditions. www-ccar.colorado.edu.
Colorado Space Grant Consortium (CSGC)
The Colorado Space Grant Consortium was established by NASA in 1989 as part of a national network of universities involved in space education. Headquartered at CU-Boulder, the consortium links 15 member schools with government, academic and industry affiliates across Colorado and the nation.
The consortium's current project, Citizen Explorer, is enabling students from the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and other colleges across Colorado, New Mexico, and Alaska to work together to build a small satellite to study the ozone in our atmosphere. CU students are both developing the spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in June 2000, and helping to teach students from elementary through high school about the spacecraft and its operation.
High school students and college freshmen are working together to build low-cost, hand-held instruments used by elementary and middle school students. All students will take measurements of the atmosphere and share these with one another and with a central database to help us all better understand the Earth's ozone layer.
The Citizen Explorer satellite is designed to educate students from elementary through high school by allowing these young students to participate, first hand, in a real space mission, to study their environment, and to help transform math, science, and technology into exciting reality. www-sgc.colorado.edu.
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the College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado at
Boulder, Office of Engineering Communications