Research Facilities and Programs:
AFRL/RV Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
The Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate leads the nation in space supremacy research and development. The Directorate consists of an integrated team of military, civilian and on-site contractor personnel. Our mission is to develop and transition innovative high-payoff space technologies supporting the warfighter, while leveraging commercial, civil and other government space capabilities to ensure America's advantage. Our capabilities and areas of expertise support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, defensive space control, space situational awareness, responsive space and all areas of small satellite development. The Directorate provides substantial technical and educational outreach programs for students, such as the Space Scholars and University Nanosatellite Program. The Directorate is comprised of three distinct divisions located at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
The Battlespace Environment Division specifies, forecasts, mitigates and explores environmental impacts to U.S. space systems and operations. Research areas include space weather sensing and modeling, hyperspectral data exploration, hypertemporal imaging and space object surveillance. The division's Space Weather Center of Excellence also operates research facilities at Sunspot, N.M. and Gakona, Alaska.
The Spacecraft Technology Division develops next-generation spacecraft bus and payload technology elements to reduce cost, improve performance and enable new missions. The division's research areas include space qualifiable electronics; spacecraft avionics; spacecraft components such as power generation and management, structural systems and guidance; navigation controls and autonomy technologies; and space-based advanced-sensor systems.
The Integrated Experiments and Evaluation Division's mission is to develop and integrate ground, space and near space experiments designed to assess and prove emerging technologies and concept of operations for military space applications. This is facilitated by modeling, simulation, technical analysis and military utility assessment, as well as robust satellite integration and test facilities, and balloon payload operations.