Overview of the AFRL's Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX) Program
JACKSON AND TULL ALBUQUERQUE NM SPACE AND AERONAUTICS TECHNOLOGY DIV
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The Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate has developed the Demonstration and Science Experiments DSX mission to research technologies needed to significantly advance Department of Defense DoD capability to operate spacecraft in the harsh radiation environment of medium-earth orbits MEO. The ability to operate effectively in the MEO environment significantly increases the DoDs capability to field space systems that provide persistent global targeting-grade space surveillance, high-speed satellite-based communication, lower-cost GPS navigation, and protection from space weather on a responsive satellite platform. The three DSX physics-based research areas are 1. Wave Particle Interaction Experiment WPIx Researching the physics of very-low-frequency VLF transmissions in the magnetosphere and characterizing the feasibility of natural and man-made VLF waves to reduce space radiation 2. Space Weather Experiment SWx Characterizing and modeling the space radiation environment in MEO, an orbital regime attractive for future DoD and commercial missions 3. Space Environmental Effects SFx Researching and characterizing the space weather effects on spacecraft electronics and materials. DSX uses a modular design that allows for launch either as a primary satellite on a conventional launcher, such as a Minotaur, or as a secondary payload on a larger rocket, such as the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle EELV. Another key feature is the use of a dedicated payload computer, which unburdens the avionics of the need to conform to custom payload data interfaces, enabling the rapid procurement of a standard spacecraft bus. An overview of the DSX science experiments, payload design, spacecraft subsystems, and engineering approach will be described.
- Guided Missile Warheads and Fuzes
- Unmanned Spacecraft