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. 

Education Model 

  • Teach the PH472 (Space and Astrophysics) elective to provide baseline space and missile defense knowledge for cadet STEM majors. 
  • After completion of PH472, deploy cadets for space and missile defense summer internships throughout the SMDC global community. 
  • 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. 


  • Assist the following multi-disciplinary small satellite investigations led by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science: 

Black Knight 1 


Black Knigth 1Black Knight Launch



Black Knight 2

(development started in AY 13-14)

Black Knight 2


  • 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.

The A-Sphere