News

2021

November 15, 2021

AFRL Awards Record-Breaking $1B Contract To Space Dynamics Laboratory

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded its largest-ever contract for space-related technology development and mission support.

The contract, worth up to $1B, was awarded to Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory (USU/SDL) a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) to ensure an essential engineering, research, and development capability, provided by an educational or other nonprofit institution.

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October 25, 2021

Remembering Kay Baker — SDL Co-Founder and USU College of Engineering Leader

Former Utah State University College of Engineering leader and Space Dynamics Laboratory co-founder, Kay Baker, passed away on Monday, Oct. 18. He was 87 years old.

During his 30-year career at Utah State, Baker continuously taught fundamental courses in electrical engineering and physics. He was closely involved with developing aerospace instrumentation and conducting measurement programs utilizing more than 300 sounding rockets and over 25 satellites. The projects included instruments on five space shuttle flights.

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September 30, 2021

Space Dynamics Laboratory-Built Space Telescope Leads to Accidental Discovery

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a telescope built by Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory has led to a discovery that hints at a hidden population of cosmic objects. SDL built the state-of-the-art Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer payload, known as WISE, for NASA to map and catalog the sky with far better sensitivity and resolution than previous space-based infrared survey telescopes.

Launched in 2009, WISE took pictures of three-quarters of a billion objects during its initial 13-month orbital expedition roughly 525 kilometers above Earth. Following its initial mission success, the spacecraft was put into on-orbit hibernation in February 2011.

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September 29, 2021

Space Dynamics Lab Inducts 12 Utah State Students into Student Scholar Program

Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced that it has inducted 12 students into a competitive program that builds on classroom experience to provide real-world solutions.

Established in 2015, SDL’s Student Scholar program provides a unique, substantive and meaningful experience to increase students’ knowledge, skills and abilities. SDL Student Scholars exemplify excellence by maintaining a high grade point average, attending training sessions, participating in outreach and completing a high-level project within the organization.

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July 15, 2021

H. Scott Hinton Says Farewell to the Space Dynamics Laboratory

Scott Hinton retired as president of Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory on June 30, leaving a legacy of unprecedented growth at the laboratory. During a reception on June 30, many current and former colleagues paid tribute to Hinton’s leadership throughout his two decades of service to USU and SDL.

Hinton began his tenure at USU when he was appointed dean of the College of Engineering in 2002. In 2013, Hinton was tapped as SDL’s president, responsible for leading the laboratory as a government-sponsored University Affiliated Research Center. His successful tenure as SDL president was marked by exponential growth in employment, program revenue, and new facility construction. In addition, he led SDL to national prominence as a trusted partner of the U.S. government, with the organization providing a range of applied research capabilities to NASA and the Department of Defense.

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June 21, 2021

Space Dynamics Laboratory Celebrates 25 Years as a Government Research Center

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory formally becoming a significant part of the Department of Defense’s efforts to maintain essential engineering, research, and development capabilities through long-term, strategic relationships with university laboratories across the nation.

In May 1996, SDL and five other university research centers were designated as DOD University Affiliated Research Centers, or UARCs, established to operate in the public interest rather than in the interest of corporate shareholders. UARCs have become crucial partners in the development of advanced defense technology, while sustaining critical national engineering and scientific expertise.

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May 26, 2021

Space Dynamics Lab President H. Scott Hinton Announces Retirement - Jed Hancock Named Successor

Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced today that President H. Scott Hinton will retire effective June 30, 2021. SDL and industry veteran Jed Hancock will succeed Hinton as SDL president.

“Throughout nearly two decades with SDL, first as a member of the board of directors, then as president, Scott’s foresight helped the organization strengthen its role as a trusted agent of the U.S. Government,” said SDL Board Chairman, General Bruce Carlson, USAF, (Retired). “Scott’s resolute leadership coupled with his steadfast commitment to the 1,000 employees of SDL will leave an indelible mark on the laboratory. We wish him well in his retirement.”

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April 14, 2021

Space Dynamics Lab to Support Newest NASA Energy Measurement Mission

The Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University announced that it has been awarded a contract to support NASA’s new space-based instrument to continue the agency’s key climate record. The contract value was not disclosed.

Under the leadership of Principal Investigator Dr. Peter Pilewskie from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, the new instrument, named Libera, will be built to continue the 40-year data record of the balance between the solar radiation entering Earth’s atmosphere and the amount absorbed, reflected and emitted.

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March 18, 2021

Space Dynamics Lab Delivers Technology for Mission to Discover Ingredients for Life on Europa

Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced today that it has delivered a crucial subsystem to support NASA’s interplanetary mission to determine the habitability of Jupiter’s Galilean moon Europa. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the mission, called Europa Clipper.

The search for life beyond our home planet—it’s one of NASA’s primary ambitions because to understand humanity’s place in the universe, we must discover if Earth is the only place where life exists.

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March 9, 2021

Space Dynamics Laboratory Recognizes Student Scholars

Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced that it has inducted three students into its SDL Student Scholar program.

Established in 2015, SDL’s Student Scholar program provides unique, substantive, and meaningful real-world experience to increase student knowledge, skills, and abilities. SDL Student Scholars exemplify excellence by maintaining a high grade point average, attending training sessions, participating in outreach, and completing a high-level project within the organization.

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January 6, 2021

Space Dynamics Lab Achieves Critical Milestone for NASA Space Weather Mission

Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced that it has successfully completed the Key Decision Point (KDP) C for NASA’s Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE). KDP-C provides NASA approval for the project to begin final design and fabrication, known as Phase C, and establishes baselines for its official schedule and budget.

Planned to be ready for launch to the International Space Station in 2022, AWE will study atmospheric gravity waves in Earth’s atmosphere to gain deeper knowledge of the connections caused by climate systems through our atmosphere and between the atmosphere and space. The AWE mission is part of NASA’s Explorers Program under the Goddard Space Flight Center Explorers and Heliophysics Projects Division and is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Michael J. Taylor at Utah State University. The Space Dynamics Laboratory will build the AWE instrument and is also providing project management, systems engineering, safety and mission assurance, and mission operations.

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