US Army Space and Missile Defense Command Research and Analysis Center

The US Army Space and Missile Defense Command Research and Analysis Center (SMDC-RAC) mission is 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.

Education Model

  • 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.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • 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:
    • Small satellites
    • High Altitude (HA) Craft
    • Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) resiliency
    • Rocketry
  • Integrate cadets and faculty into MIT Lincoln Laboratory's space and missile defense and other SMDC mission-related research.  This effort includes 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