Sophisticated, Hands-On Construction
In Marina del Rey, SERC uses a variety of equipment to create research testbeds and hardware components for satellite and space activities.
- A benchtop computer numerical control (CNC) mill and lathe to create nanosatellite scale structures and components. The CNCs, operated by students, can convert Solidworks CAD files through MasterCam into G-files for execution.
- A 3D printer large enough to build an entire Cubesat prototype structure from ABS plastic.
- Digital electronic bench with component level microscope and soldering irons.
- Structural integration benches for mechanical and pressurization hardware development.
- High precision flat table that serves as an air bearing testbed and an optics table for optics alignment.
- 15’x15’ Class 100,000 Clean room with full HEPA filtering and electrical ground benches.
- Full 5,000 psi compressor for high pressure filling station.
- Digital/electronic scopes and test equipment suitable for nano-satellite integration and test.
Direct Satellite Monitoring
SERC maintains two ground-tracking antennas and a station for tracking satellite projects:
- A 4.5 meter mesh parabolic dish antenna located on top of USC’s physics building (ACB)) on the main campus in downtown Los Angeles. The antenna has a complete two-axis tracking system and a separate, climate-controlled facility that houses the operations PC equipped with satellite tracking and receiver control software, and a full RF suite of components. The dish is good from 1-6Ghz and has the performance to track both LEO and GEO satellites to sub-degree accuracy.
- A 3 meter solid parabolic dish located on a moveable trailer, enabling USC teams to move the dish to ground locations that support sky coverage and inclinations. Equipped with customer feed horn assembly for various frequencies, the dish has a two-axis AlfaSPID rotor and is controlled via an onboard laptop. Power is supplied externally or via an onboard generator.