View of small autoclave Composites Laboratory

Used to develop and test advanced composite materials for spacecraft structures.

Fuels Testing Laboratory

The fuels testing laboratory provides an off-site test laboratory with storage for compatibility testing of materials and propulsion propellants. This facility is also designed to support the loading and off loading of propellants to and from small spacecraft.

Modal Survey Test Facility Modal Survey Test Facility

The modal survey test facility provides the capability to define the dynamic structural characteristics of a spacecraft. The dynamic characteristics are in the form of natural frequencies, damping ratios, and modal deformation patterns. The primary use of these data are for refining and validating the stiffness and mass matrices of a computer model of the structure. After the data are acquired and analyzed, an image of the spacecraft on the computer screen can be animated to allow visualization of one or more vibration modes of the structure.

Payload Processing Facility Payload Processing Facility

The payload processing facility provides a central location for all auxiliary machinery and equipment used to assemble and test spacecraft systems, subsystems, and components. The payload processing facility consists of a comprehensive laboratory complex housing a high bay (12 m high ceiling) assembly area, a secure assembly area, support facilities, storage area, lifting equipment, fabrication machinery, and ground transportation equipment.

Clementine Spacecraft in  Radio Frequency Anechoic Chamber Radio Frequency Anechoic Chamber Facility

The radio frequency anechoic chamber is used to design, manufacture, and test spacecraft antenna systems. The facility is also used for electromagnetic compatibility and electromagnetic interferencetesting of spacecraft antenna systems.

Radio Frequency Compact Range Radio Frequency Compact Range Facility

The radio frequency compact range facility is used for making antenna pattern and radar cross-section measurements under simulated far-field conditions where far-field measurements would be prohibitive in terms of the real estate required for the test range.

Robotics Engineering and Control Laboratory

Serves as a national test bed to support research in the emerging field of space robotics including autonomous rendezvous and capture, remote assembly operations, and machine learning.

Smart Structures Laboratory Smart Structures Research Laboratory

Used for passive and active vibration isolation and suppression, precision shape and position control, integrated health monitoring and sensing, and thermally stable composite structures.

LACE Satellite in Acoustic Reverberation Chamber Spacecraft Acoustic Reverberation Chamber Test Facility

The acoustic reverberation chamber test facility is used to simulate the vibration and high intensity acoustic noise environment experienced by spacecraft structures and components during launch. The acoustic reverberation chamber consists of a 283 cubic meter reverberant chamber constructed of highly reinforced concrete designed to withstand an internal sound pressure level of 170 dB. The chamber is 5 m wide, 6.5 m long, and 8 m high and is accessed by a pedestrian door and a specimen door.

Optical Comparator Spacecraft Mechanical Inspection and Optical Alignment Facility

The spacecraft mechanical inspection and optical alignment test facility provides the capability to inspect parts and verify dimensions and alignment of critical spaceflight hardware. Levels of precision are typically to the ten thousandths of a centimeter linear and one arc second angular.

Propulsion System Welding Facility Spacecraft Propulsion System Welding Facility

The spacecraft propulsion system welding facility provides a clean environment for the fabrication, assembly, and test of contamination sensitive propulsion hardware assemblies for spacecraft fluid subsystems using automatic orbital welding equipment.

Spin Test Facility Spacecraft Spin Test Facility

The spacecraft spin test facility is used to test and correct spacecraft balance using either dynamic or static/coupled measurement techniques to force the spin axis to the desired principle axis of the satellite and to verify the moments of inertia on large capacity moment of inertia tables.

Clementine Interstage Adapter Undergoing Static Testing Spacecraft Static Test Loads Facility

The static test loads facility provides the capability to perform static loads tests on space vehicles and their subsystems to demonstrate that structural design requirements have been achieved. The static test loads facility is housed in the Payload Processing Facility. It can test both small (2.25 kg) and large (17,236 kg) articles.

Vibration Test Facility Spacecraft Vibration Test Facility

The spacecraft vibration test facility is used to qualify and accept spacecraft and spacecraft components by simulating the various loading environments imposed on hardware and demonstrating compliance to design specifications. Using the facility's electrodynamic shakers, quasi-static, vibrational, and shock loads can be generated and test article characteristics can be quantified via sine sweep testing.

Structural Sensing and Attitude Control Laboratory (RESHAPE)

The structural sensing and attitude control laboratory is used to study satellite attitude control design and to develop methods for jitter suppression of deployed spacecraft sensors, booms, and solar panels. The laboratory includes a unique spherical air bearing platform, the Reconfigurable Spacecraft Host for Attitude and Pointing Experiments (RESHAPE), used to test spacecraft slewing maneuvers and attitude control methodologies before implementation on flight vehicles.

Large Thermal Vacuum Chamber, Affectionately Known as "Big Blue" Thermal Vacuum Chamber Facility

The thermal vacuum chamber facility provides a comprehensive environmental test complex that is specifically designed to simulate the high vacuum and varying thermal conditions that spacecraft encounter. The facility consists of a large test chamber (5.5 m diameter and 9.75 m long), two medium test chambers (2.5 m diameter and 3 m high), three small test chambers (0.5 m diameter and 0.5 m high), a machinery room, a network of computers, a 98,420 litre liquid nitrogen storage facility, and an assortment of handling fixtures and cranes for ground transport of payloads.

Sol-Gel Loop Heat Pipe, A-CPL Demonstration, NRL Loop Heat Pipe Two-Phase Thermal Laboratory

Used to investigate and qualify the thermal performance of advanced two-phase devices.

MISSE Image Gallery

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