by Deidre Ortiz
Arnold Engineering Development Complex Public Affairs
4/29/2015 - ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- The
Space and Missiles Combined Test Force at the Arnold Engineering
Development Complex recently completed its first Space Threat Assessment
Test & Evaluation for the U.S. Navy.
Engineers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division requested
several candidate electronic components be exposed to low energy
electrons they would experience on-orbit. The test was funded under a
Naval Innovative Science and Engineering project that focuses on single
electron effects in advanced electronics.
In true CTF fashion, the STAT team performing this test was made up of
AEDC civilians, military members and contractors, and augmented by NSWC
The test was a significant milestone for AEDC as it marked the start of
external organizations using the STAT team to perform space test and
evaluation in a ground-based combined environments facility.
STAT testing, like this test for the Navy, involves recreating space
environments from low earth orbit to geo-synchronous orbit in order to
expose systems-under-test to natural and induced conditions.
Since the test team can simultaneously combine these effects on
components, subsystems and even full-up satellites, it provides unique
knowledge leading to the technology maturation, acquisition development
and risk reduction, operational tactics, techniques and procedures for
operators of such space-based systems.
Prior to the STAT capability, the team conducted similar testing in the
Characterization of Combined Orbital Surface Effects facility. However,
testing in CCOSE was on a much smaller scale, 2-by-2 inches as compared
to the STAT chamber's 30-by-30 inch test section.
Examples of testing the team has conducted include subjecting solar
cells, electronics and thermal control coatings to the conditions found
in space. In addition to real-time orbital simulation, the team can
accelerate long-term exposure and effects that the space environment has
The STAT chamber is 7 feet by 10 feet and can provide uniform exposure
from various space environmental sources. The chamber's design allows
the team to access either the sources or the systems-under-test while
maintaining test conditions in the remainder of the chamber interior.
The STAT chamber is capable of testing anything from large-scale satellite components to small-scale satellites.