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Delaware State University
Graduate student Elton Jhamba working on DNA Characterization using magnetic tweezer set-up in the DSU Imaging Facility.Graduate student Elton Jhamba working on DNA Characterization using magnetic tweezer set-up in the DSU Imaging Facility.
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Optical Sciences Center for Applied Research
Award Period: August 2009 – September 2014


The Optical Sciences Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) was established in 2009 as a University Research Center (URC) through the Group 5 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) URC Cooperative Agreement. Delaware State University integrated its established center, the Center for Research and Education in Optical Sciences and Applications (CREOSA) into OSCAR and leveraged its resources to form its solid research foundation.


Through its commitment to excellence in research and education OSCAR strives to:
  • Foster new NASA-related science and technology developments based on optical sciences and technology
  • Inspire and engage students from underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields
  • Enhance the national aerospace science and technology workforce
  • Develop partnerships with industry, NASA research centers and other federal laboratories, and minority and non minority-serving colleges and universities.

Centered on the three main topics, the focus of OSCAR supports the goals of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and the Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD) through research of Planetary Science, Space Communications & Navigation, and Astrobiology.


OSCAR’s research is divided into two core topics:
  • Core 1 projects focus on developing optical instrumentations for space operations infrastructure. These include the development of space atomic clock, polarimetric laser detection and ranging (LADAR), and an augmented reality visor interface for human-robot interactions and emergency medical support of astronauts.
  • Core 2 projects conduct research and development of Mars exploration using ChemCam Mars Rover LIBS instrument, and a remotely-operated laser scanning confocal microscope for in situ analysis of extraterrestrial environment.
The center collaborates with Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), NASA/NSSTC Astrobiology Laboratory, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Northwestern University, and the Delaware Aerospace Education Foundation on various projects.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Noureddine Melikechi
Tel: (302) 857-6656, E-mail:

Optical Sciences Center for Applied Research
Delaware State University
1200 DuPont Highway
Dover, DE 19901