A US Air Force sat, which was as big as a large football field has been deployed successfully, announced the AFRL on Wednesday. The launch took place on July 12.
AFRL’s demonstration & science experiments (DSX) will be collecting data used for studying radiation conditions in outer space. DSX happens to be the biggest among 24 satellites that SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launched last month from CC station in Florida. Over 24 satellites were delivered into 4 different orbits.
The satellite had been designed & built at the SVD at KAFB, located in New Mexico.
Director of SVD, Col. Felt, stated that this sat would conduct research which would advance current understanding of Van Allen belts along with their effects on various spacecraft components. DSX will be conducting experiments in orbit for over 1 year at the very least.
James McCollough, a DSX investigator, stated that the US Air Force was highly interested in deploying satellites in the location where DSX would be collecting data. This region sees a strong interaction between VLF radio waves and electrons harmful to spacecraft. The satellite can transmit VLF radio signals for studying its influence on electron population. A more comprehensive understanding would be obtained about this key process via this satellite.
James Caldwell, who is the DSX’s mission director, stated that the satellite was currently undergoing launch & early operations. Operations teams were working alongside engineers and scientists for performing checkouts on satellite components, preparation for the upcoming data collection, and enabling deployment of antenna booms.
Among these 80 m (262 ft.) antenna booms, the longer duo underwent successful deployment, which resulted in the biggest unmanned structure currently in space, state Jeffrey Christmas, who is a DSX manager. He stated that this long antenna would enable DSX to begin transmission of VLF waves, to be employed in various experiments.
Felt also stated that the AFRL was planning to share its research results with the general public, via social media networks and its website.