Research Projects


Earth Dynamics Observatory (EDO)

EDO researchers seek to accelerate the discovery, observation, and prediction of the changing Earth system to inform decisions in support of a sustainable future. They will drive innovation, development, and utilization of the next generation of Earth-focused scientific instruments and missions to address national and global challenges concerning environment hazards and national security.


Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Researchers at the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering conduct research that is of national and international repute while contributing to the economic development of the state. Research activities are concentrated in fluid mechanics and aerodynamics, multi-body dynamics and control, heat transfer, solid mechanics and composite materials, space technology, biomedical engineering and reliability.


College of Optical Sciences

Research programs at the College of Optical Sciences encompass rapidly changing areas from the world’s largest telescopes down to quantum nanophotonics. Our technologies impact real-world applications ranging from emerging 3-D systems to biomedical imaging for disease diagnosis and treatment, to the ultrahigh capacity optical fiber communications technologies that will enable the future growth of the Internet.

Mirror Lab

Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory

At the Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory, part of Steward Observatory, a team of scientists and engineers are making giant, lightweight mirrors of unprecedented power for a new generation of telescopes. Mirrors from the Lab have been installed in the world’s most powerful telescopes — including the Large Binocular Telescope, and the Giant Magellan Telescope.

Lunar Planetary Lab

Lunar & Planetary Laboratory

Lunar & Planetary Laboratory (LPL) is an interdisciplinary research unit studying planetary systems with expertise in spacecraft missions, astronomical observations and analyses of extra-terrestrial samples. LPL led and managed surface operations for the Phoenix Mars mission, becoming the first university organization to manage a planetary mission.

Steward Observatory

Steward Observatory

Steward Observatory, the research arm of the UA Department of Astronomy, boasts one of the nation’s premier astronomy programs. Researchers are responsible for some of the most groundbreaking astronomical findings of our time including the discovery of new galaxies and finding water on Mars.


HiRISE on Mars Orbiter

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the most powerful camera ever sent to another planet. In 2015, its camera was used to discover water on Mars.