US Army Space and Missile Defense Command Research and Analysis Center (SMDC-RAC)
To promote and facilitate USMA cadet and faculty research in support of the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) objectives; enhance the professional development of the USMA faculty; and inspire cadets through space and missile defense education and research to face technical challenges with confidence.
- Host the Army Space Cadre Basic Course as the Space MIAD annually to provide cadets and some faculty with an operational space background for use in their Army careers.
- Teach one section of SP471, Astronautics, or SP472, Space Physics, to provide baseline space and missile defense knowledge for cadet Space Science majors and minors.
- Upon return from their summer internship, advise cadets conducting senior-year research sponsored by SMDC.
- Credential graduating cadets with a 3Y (Space Enabler) Additional Skill Identifier and induct them into the Army Space Cadre, thereby preparing them for future space and missile defense assignments.
• Facilitate the following multi-disciplinary capstone projects:
o Black Knight Satellite led by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science exploring low cost, radiation survivable commercial off the shelf (COTS) small satellites.
o Space Engineering and Applied Research (SPEAR) led by the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering and co-sponsored by the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, with the goal of a cadet designed and built rocket breaking the Karmen line (100 km altitude).
• Explore partnerships with DoD, industry, and academia to facilitate the following cadet research projects:
o Small satellites
o Balloon satellites
o Position, navigation and timing resiliency
Black Knight 1
Black Knight 2
(development started in AY 13-14)
- Integrate cadets and faculty into MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s missile defense radar calibration research. This effort is investigating a small satellite radar calibration sphere – called the A-Sphere – utilizing dielectric technology to create a “cat’s eye” retroreflectivity effect from orbit back to the ground radar.