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Major Texas Research Institute Joins With UNH Space And Ocean Science Program


Monday marks the beginning of a collaboration between UNH’s space and earth research team, and the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.It is a new kind of venture in the world of space science, says Harlan Spence, the Director of UNH’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space.

We will now able to do larger and more complex missions which will enable us to answer bigger and broader scientific questions.

Spence is talking about unmanned robotic space missions that bring satellites into orbit. Now, UNH faculty and students will be able to complete entire missions on their own -- including building satellites, building the instruments, and managing the data coming back – with the help of Southwest Research Institute. Southwest is a private nonprofit engineering technology organization with a staff of 3,000, and annual revenue of almost $600 million.

Spence says the collaboration will also be valuable, as traditional research grants diminish:

Southwest does do business with other parts of the government and private industry that we typically don’t do at universities, so indeed their colocation at the university will foster a greater connection of us to those other funding opportunities.

The collaboration’s roster will start out with nine UNH staff members, one UNH faculty member, and one Southwest scientist.