Sun Devil Satellite Laboratory

Sun Devil Satellite Laboratory

Organization Statement

The Sun Devil Satellite Laboratory (SDSL) is an all student, multidisciplinary organization with the purpose of designing, manufacturing, and operating spacecraft to support the innovative development of satellites.

2015-2016 SDSL Club Officers A full render of SDS-1 CubeSat An SDSL working meeting.
2016-2017 SDSL Club Officers A full render of the Phoenix 3U CubeSat CanSat TOAST Launch 2016


2016-2017 Projects



SDSL’s current project is the Phoenix Mission, a 3U CubeSat launch mission fully funded by NASA. The current student engineering team headed by Vice President, Sarah Rogers, is working alongside various faculty mentors and collaborating with the Herberger Institute in order to bring unique perspectives to the project. Development and testing of the CubeSat will be carried out over the 2016-2017 school year with interdisciplinary integration in select engineering courses. The final goal of the mission will be to launch a 3U CubeSat to a Low Earth Orbit in August of 2017. The CubeSat will then monitor the effects of the Urban Heat Island effect on cities such as Honolulu and New York, primarily focusing on Phoenix’s UHI effect. This data collected over a year will lead to insight on health effects of the urban heating, external effects to the surrounding environment, and the extent of the consequences of climate change.

Phoenix Mission Emblem



SDSL current yearly project available to any member interested is a CanSat for the AIAA CanSat competition. For the next upcoming competition in the summer of 2017, a CanSat will launched by a rocket approximately 2000 feet into the air and then deployed. The CanSat itself will consist of two primary components, the science vehicle and container for the vehicle. The container will protect the vehicle until it is safe for the vehicle to deploy. After a second midair deployment, the vehicle will glide down in a circle collecting data every second until impact. The data collected will consist of air pressure, temperature, heading, and speed. This data will have to be streamed live to a ground station manned by members of the CanSat team. Upon impact, the science vehicle is expected to be able to emit an audio beacon for proper recovery by the team.

Currently, the plan is to possibly create two teams of SDSL members with little experience in CanSat missions led by SDSL members who have partaken in past CanSat launches such as TOAST. Proposals from each team will be due by November 30th, 2016 to AIAA. Afterwards, both teams will have to generate a preliminary design review to be judged by AIAA. The top 40 team will then be invited to compete.

PPT (Pulse Plasma Thruster)

Pulse plasma thrusters are most ideal for applications in control of smaller spacecraft and low-thrust maneuvers that make use of plasma to produce a thrust and high velocities without using much fuel. This SDSL project is currently being funded by Raytheon Missile systems under the direction of the organization mentor, Dr. Daniel White. The PPT in development right now will specifically avoid the use of a traditional spark plug used in most PPTs which is one of the major life limiting factors. Alternative spark plugs are being explored such as the use of a photoelectric effect or thermionic emission. Should these methods replace traditional spark plugs, PPT mission life will be increased. The vacuum chamber is currently completed while research and development is currently being focused on an improved spark plug.

ADCS (Altitude Determination and Control Systems)

Originally a master’s project of a former SDSL president, Ricky Astrain, an ADCS test bench is being completed by current SDSL member, Brendan Coleman. With the system almost done by years of research and work, all that is left to do is integration. Ricky currently works at EchoStar, but is willing to help complete the project. The ADCS will be used to test Altitude Determination and Control Systems (ADCS) which indicate where a satellite will point.

2016-2017 Team Members

Executive Officers

Jaime Sanchez de la Vega – President
Sarah Rogers – Vice President
Raymond Barakat – Treasurer
Daniel La Rosa – Secretary
Brad Cooley – Media Coordinator
Anthony McCourt – Outreach Coordinator
William Merino – Industry Relations
Aditya Khuller – Social Coordinator

CanSat Team 1


CanSat Team 2


PPT (Pulse Plasma Thruster) Team

Aditya Khuller – Project Lead
Dr. Daniel White – Faculty Mentor


Brendan Coleman – Project Lead


Phoenix Team

Sarah Rogers - Project Lead
Jaime Sanchez de la Vega – Project Manager
Mireya Ochoa – Thermal Lead
Eddie Vinciguera – Thermal
Ryan Czerwinski - Thermal
Rj Amzler – Thermal
Zachary Burnham – Communications Lead
Christopher Marrs – Communications
Jesus Acosta – Payload Lead
Brody Willard – Payload
Ruy Garcia Acosta – Payload
Allan Garry – Payload

Phoenix Team cont'd

William Merino – Systems Engineering Lead
Andy Tran – Systems Engineering
Raymond Barakat – Power Lead
Aditya Khuller – Power
Shreya Udupa – Power
Ryan Fagan – ADCS Lead
Justin Wofford – ADCS
Riyan Hunter – ADCS
Brad Cooley – Flight Software Lead
Stephen Flores – Flight Software
Nicholas Downy – Flight Software

Phoenix Mentors

Jack Lightholder
Aaron Goldstien
Shota Ichikawa
Chad Stewart
Hannah Kerner
Michael Veto

Phoenix Science

Tory Luttermoser – Co-lead
Gigi Parisi – Co-lead
Kezman Saboi
Wendy Nessl
Elenor Dhuyvetter

Phoenix Faculty

Judd Bowman – PI
Jekan Thanga
Thomas Sharp
Daniel White
Philip Christensen
Paul Scowen
Scott Smas
Nathaniel Butler
Mitch Philips
Jim Bell
Lance Gharavi


Phoenix Faculty cont'd

Jacob Pinholster
Erinanne Saffell
Ariane Middel
David Sailor
Fran Matera
Madeline Lisbald
Sonia Bovio
Brigitte Bavousett
Gary Martin
Kaela Martin


Phoenix Outreach

Anthony McCourt – Lead
Marc Leatham
Rury Garcia Acosta
Chris Marrs
William Merino
Elora Mastison
Fargo Tbakhi
Alexis Moore
Taylor Blackmore


Phoenix Herberger Students

Fargo Tbakhi – Lead
Alexis Moore
Taylor Blackmore
Elora Matsison
Sandra Schoenewald
Nicholas Cyr
Cindy Tran




2015-2016 Team Members

Executive Officers

Raymond Barakat - President
Jaime Sanchez de la Vega - Vice President
Bradley Cooley - Treasurer
Sarah Rogers - Secretary
Chuck Dries - Media Coordinator
Chad Stewart - Outreach Coordinator
William Merino - Industry Relations
Aditya Khuller - Activites Chair

CanSat Team

Raymond Barakat - Team Lead
Jaime Sanchez de la Vega - Team Lead
Dr. Daniel White - Faculty Mentor
Sarah Rogers
Bradley Cooley
Anthony McCourt
Arrone Travaglia
Jesus Acosta
Shota Ichikawa
Stephen Flores
Donnie Corbin
Justin Wofford

PPT (Pulse Plasma Thruster) Team

Aditya Khuller - Team Lead
Dr. Daniel White - Faculty Mentor
Anthony McCourt
Jenna Moore
Brennan Mohr
Shaojra Zhao
Brandon Tieu
Abraham Sharaf
Jairaj Mehta
Eddie Vinciguerra
Joseph Mayer
Sabrina Leigh-Godfrey
Akshay Vijay
Tyler Lanes
Justin Wofford


Sarah Rogers - Team Lead
Dr. Judd Bowman - Faculty Mentor
Dr. Tom Sharp - Faculty Mentor
Jaime Sanchez de la Vega
Raymond Barakat
Bradley Cooley
William Merino
Ryan Fagan
Ryan Czerwinski
Aditya Khuller
Aksay Vijay
Brody Willard
Chad Stewart
Eddie Vinciguerra

USIP Team cont'd

Ifeanyi Ummuna
Jabril Muhammad
Jake Shellenberger
Jayanth Serla
Joe Youssef
Nick Price
Sarah Smallwood*
Shota Ichikawa
Stephanie Shahrzad
Zachary Burnham
Mireya Ochoa
Jesus Acosta
Tory Luttermoser
Gigi Parisi
Kezman Saboi


Mireya Ochoa


Nelson Prawzin


Donnie Corbin
Justin Wofford

*ASU/NASA Space Grant Intern


2012-2013 Team Members

Dr. Tom Sharp - Team Mentor
Ricky Astrain - Team Lead*
Iman Alizadeh
Jordan Brideman
Alex Cannady

Miekkal Clarkson
Todd Cunningham*
Chris Flarity
Jesse Gomez
Anthony Grace
Westin Knoop
Andrea Linares

Jose Lopez-Ramos
Channing Ludden
Owen Ma
Deion Scmidt
Michelle Smith
Austin Tanner
David Wolfe


*ASU/NASA Space Grant Intern



2011-2012 Team Members

Dr. Tom Sharp - Team Mentor
Aaron Goldstein - Team Lead*
Ricky Astrain

Jordan Bridgeman
Robert Bui*
Scott Jones
Christopher Kady
Andrew Menicosy*
Jimmy Nguyen*
Michelle Smith*

  *ASU/NASA Space Grant Intern



Click here to view the Team Website!

If there are any questions please don't hesitate to contact the club president, Alexander Cannady, at