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North Carolina Central University
NCCU students, including Physics majors Joseph Estevez (left) and Nene Ugoeke (right), in the modern physics laboratory.NCCU students, including Physics majors Joseph Estevez (left) and Nene Ugoeke (right), in the modern physics laboratory.
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NASA Center for Aerospace Device Research and Education
November 2009 – November 2014

The objective of the NASA University Center for Aerospace Devices Research and Education (NASA-CADRE) at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is to provide a framework for broadly based, competitive, multi-disciplinary science and engineering research that will advance NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) programs. The center combines state-of-the-art research and development to meet technological challenges identified in the Advanced Technology section of NASA SMD’s 2007 – 2016 Science Plan.

CADRE leverages newly developed experimental techniques and predictive computation methods to meet confluence of needs in the scientific community and industry for advanced sensing systems based on novel materials and device architectures. While research efforts are primarily oriented towards the SMD, CADRE’s research impact extends to the Exploratory, Aeronautic Research, and Space Operation Mission Directorates.

The overall mission of NASA-CADRE is to leverage strong theoretical and experimental programs to advance the frontiers of fundamental and applied research while educating a new cadre of STEM students.
To achieve this vision NASA-CADRE has fostered synergy between:
  • design and fabrication of new materials and devices
  • fundamental and applied theoretical and experimental research
  • computational simulation, modeling and design of astrophysical processes, new materials, and devices
NASA-CADRE is committed to enhance the participation of minority students in NASA-related fields and prepare them for future aerospace careers. Collaborations advanced by the center have further developed a research infrastructure able to address some of the most important questions in modern astronomy, physics and materials science.

Research Focus
  • development of nanoscale materials for advanced optoelectronics devices
  • development of a new type of polarimeter for high-energy gamma-ray astrophysics
  • development of a novel neutrino detector and advancement of nuclear astrophysics research
  • development of an original, highly sensitive and selective type of biochemical sensor
  • development of cooperative autonomous intelligent mobile robotic systems
Seed projects: 1) Material characterization by THz waves 2) Control of Optical Propagation by Metallic Nanostructures

NASA-CADRE Main Objectives
  • to establish a world-class center for advanced devices and aerospace related fundamental and applied physical research relevant to NASA missions
  • to improve recruitment and retention of undergraduate students by actively integrating research and aerospace science into undergraduate education
  • to enhance the quality of M.S. degree programs and establish Ph.D. degree programs in Science at NCCU

NASA Center for Aerospace Device Research and Education
North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham NC, 27707

Principal Investigator: Dr. Branislav Vlahovic
Tel: (919) 530-7253, E-mail: