California lawmakers have secured funding for Cal Poly to boost the university's mini-satellite program.
A partnership between the university and the Air Force Research Laboratory will direct $2.5 million to the Aerospace Engineering Program.
The funds will specifically support a thermal vacuum chamber, with upgraded facilities. The new vacuum chamber will allow researchers to test and develop propulsion for CubeSats to allow for greater control of the satellites used in space exploration.
The Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) was secured by Rep. Salud Carbajal, Rep. Norma J. Torres and Rep. Grace Napolitano within the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. EPAs are agreements between defense laboratories and educational institutions that allow military labs to provide equipment and personnel to universities while involving the faculty and students in military research.
The EPA provides $5 million total for both Cal Poly campuses, split evenly between San Luis Obispo and Pomona.
The agreement will help the Air Force lab innovate new aerospace technologies and improve long-term energy security, energy optimization, reusability, maneuverability and multi-mission mobility.