Firepond Optical Facility in Westford, Massachusetts

Space Systems Analysis and Test

We predict and evaluate the potential impact of threats to space capabilities and develop, analyze, and test novel solutions to ensure the United States' continued use of space for communications, navigation, Earth observation, and other civil and military purposes. The introduction of constellations composed of hundreds, or even thousands, of small satellites and the growing number of commercial launch providers present new challenges to operating in space. To provide senior government leadership with assessments on and possible solutions to these emerging threats, our staff build physics-based models and simulations, develop and test new concepts and prototype systems, and collect measurements with state-of-the-art sensors. Our mission-focused analyses fuse knowledge from a wide variety of subject areas, including RF and optical systems, orbital mechanics, spacecraft design, signal and image processing, and propulsion. 

Featured Projects

Ray tracing that simulates wave propagation is used to build performance models for high-frequency radar and communication systems.
New algorithms improve the resilience of satellite and RF systems to impacts from space weather.