Photo Of Satellite.

HIGP’s Aerospace effort facilitates the exploration of the Earth and planets by:

  • Designing, building, testing, launching, and operating small satellites from the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Augmenting orbital observations with higher temporal and spatial analysis using unmanned aerial systems.

The centerpiece of HIGP’s Aerospace effort is the Hawaiʻi Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL).

HSFL is a collaboration between SOEST and UH Mānoa’s College of Engineering. HSFL provides vertically integrated small space mission solutions and acts as a catalyst for an aerospace industry in our State by providing local facilities to design, fabricate, test, launch, and communicate with satellites.

Click to Read More

Small Satellites: HSFL has state-of-the-art clean-rooms for satellite integration, a thermal-vacuum chamber, vibration table, and attitude determination and control test-bed. In addition to the SUCHI, Neutron-1, and HyTI missions, HSFL is currently working with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command on a small satellite mission to calibrate DoD radars.

Launch: HSFL facilitates launch in the “geo-advantageous” State of Hawaiʻi to promote a new local aerospace economy. On November 3, 2015, HSFL participated in the Operationally Responsive Space-4 Mission from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauaʻi, assisting rocket development via a strategic agreement with Aerojet-Rocketdyne, and building and operating the world’s largest rail launcher. HSFL is now assisting US commercial companies with the next launch.

Unmanned Aerial Systems: HSFL is working with Japanese companies HAPSMobile and Softbank to create a temporary UAS test range on Lānaʻi. HSFL will manage the development and operation of the range, supporting very-high altitude and long-duration UAS flights. Well above commercial air routes, such UAS could be very beneficial for long-duration, large-area monitoring of local hazards such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires.

Mission Operations: HSFL maintains UHF/VHF, S-band and X-band ground stations. HSFL has also developed mission operations software system called COSMOS. Including flight software for satellites, COSMOS is designed to run autonomously and handle the command/control and data downlinks from multiple small satellites.

Workforce Development: In the last five years, HSFL faculty and engineers have provided interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities for approximately 300 students of which 55% are underrepresented and about 30% are women. HSFL will train an increasing number of students in the future since ME296 Design Class and ME496 Senior Design Class have sections that focus on HSFL issues. The HIGP Earth and Planetary Exploration Technology certificate (EPET) features a Spacecraft Mission Design course and a senior-level interdisciplinary Small Mission Development course.


Yosef Ben Gershom

Satellite I&T Engineer

Luke P. Flynn

Director of HSFL, Director of HSGC

Kasey Hagi

HSFL Software Engineer

Amber Imai-Hong

HSFL Engineer

Marcia Rei S. Nii

HSGC Executive Director/Program Coordinator

Miguel A. Nunes

Deputy Director of HSFL

Eric J. Pilger

Systems Engineer

Isaac C. Rodrigues

HSFL Engineer

Trevor Sorensen

Specialist, Project Manager of HSFL

Tim Williams

Engineering facility manager

Mark Wood

Science instrument engineer

Lance Yoneshige

HSFL Satellite Engineer

Frances (Frankie) Zhu

Assistant Researcher, HSGC Associate Director
Back To Top