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AFRL spacecraft recurve launches on Virgin Orbit Space Force mission

Written by  Tuesday, 12 July 2022 14:52
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Kirtland AFB NM (SPX) Jul 07, 2022
The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate spaceflight experiment Recurve was launched July 2, 2022, from the Mojave Air and Space Port on the Virgin Orbit space system in California. The launch supported the U.S. Space Force's STP-S28A mission and carried six additional payloads for the Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP). Recurve is the latest in several low-

The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate spaceflight experiment Recurve was launched July 2, 2022, from the Mojave Air and Space Port on the Virgin Orbit space system in California. The launch supported the U.S. Space Force's STP-S28A mission and carried six additional payloads for the Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP).

Recurve is the latest in several low-cost CubeSats designed, built and operated entirely in house at the Space Vehicles Directorate located on Kirtland AFB.

"AFRL's CubeSat program is advancing the nation's space portfolio in developing a hybrid space architecture that encompasses both large and small satellites," said Kate Yoshino, Recurve program manager. "Recurve will push CubeSat technology forward by demonstrating adaptive radio frequency [or RF] system capability from a low Earth orbit platform."

The spacecraft will validate a cognitive RF system able to perform in-situ, adaptive decision-making.

"This advanced technology will enable Recurve to assess an inherent positioning, navigation and timing capability under various operating and environmental conditions," Yoshino said.

In addition, Recurve will evaluate mesh network behavior across multiple nodes in multi-domain applications, bringing information to wherever the warfighter is located.

Mesh networks, sometimes referred to as meshnet and in contrast to star or tree networks, connect directly to as many other nodes as possible, and work together to route data to and from users. The lack of dependency on only one node permits every node to participate in the relay of information, increasing the satellite's resilience.

"Recurve advances us [toward] a vision of ubiquitous communication networks, to include beyond line of sight, to ensure that our warfighters have the information they need both quickly and reliably," said Lt. Col. David Johnson, AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate's Integrated Experiments and Evaluations division chief.

STP-S28A is the first of three missions the U.S. Space Force has contracted with Virgin Orbit. Recurve will be in orbit for up to one year.


Related Links
Air Force Research Laboratory
Military Space News at SpaceWar.com

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