Among the payloads launching on SpaceX's upcoming 27th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission is a project to test an L3Harris-designed 3D printed radio frequency (RF) circuit and various 3D printed material samples. The project is a continuation of a 2021 experiment on the ISS that collected two months of data.
This time, L3Harris will also test photonic material for a new technology called photonic integrated circuits. Used for satellite communications and similar to computer chips, these circuits utilize light instead of electrons in conventional electronics, similar to how light carries information in fiber optic cables for phone and internet data.
"We're excited to test the 3D printed materials for six months and compare the new results with previous ISS experiments and ground tests," said Arthur C. Paolella, senior scientist and technical fellow with L3Harris, an aerospace and defense industry leader. "The ability to 3D print materials for use in space opens up new possibilities for satellite design and construction while making spacecraft manufacturing more cost-effective and efficient."
Eduardo Rojas, director of the Wireless Devices and Electromagnetics Laboratory at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and his students are assisting with the experiment. The investigation will utilize the MISSE Flight Facility (owned and operated by ISS National Lab Commercial Service Provider Aegis Aerospace) mounted to the exterior of the ISS.
There, the material samples will experience the harshness of space in the ultimate test of their durability. The materials will be subjected to various conditions, including extreme temperatures and radiation, to validate their performance in the same environment where the satellites will operate.
"While we can test the durability of these materials on Earth against one or two of these factors at a time, on the ISS, we can test every potential hazard-and all at once," Paolella said.
The results will be used to develop and refine the materials to incorporate them into satellite manufacturing, says Paolella. Photonic integrated circuits for optical communications between satellites and the ground could one day reduce the size, weight, and power of communications systems and increase the amount of data possible to transmit from satellite to satellite, he said. L3Harris continues to explore other potential space-based applications for 3D printed materials, including in-orbit manufacturing and repair.
This is just one of more than 15 ISS National Lab-sponsored payloads launching on SpaceX CRS-27 no earlier than March 14 at 8:30p.m. EDT. Please visit our mission overview page to learn more about all ISS National Lab-sponsored research launching.
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters|
Virgin Orbit suspends operations, in wake of failed orbital launch
THE NEW GUYS: The Historic Class of Astronauts that Changed the Face of Space Travel
SpaceX cargo resupply mission CRS-27 scheduled for launch Tuesday
NASA SpaceX Crew-5 splashes down after 5-month mission
Rocket Lab launches 34th Electron in second mission from Virginia
Rocket Lab to launch twin satellites for BlackSky from New Zealand
World leading propulsion system now integrated onto Australian-made satellite
SpaceX lofts SES-18 and 19 C-Bands birds for US coverage
Engineers keep an eye on fuel supply of NASA's oldest Mars orbiter
Spring Past the Marker Band: Sols 3776-3777
Geologists Love a Good Contact: Sols 3773-3775
ExoMars rover testing moves ahead and deep down
China's Shenzhou-15 astronauts to return in June
China's space technology institute sees launches of 400 spacecraft
Shenzhou XV crew takes second spacewalk
China conducts ignition test in Mengtian space lab module
Spacetime will orchestrate LEO network for Rivada constellation|
HawkEye 360's latest satellite cluster begins operation
LeoLabs expands space safety coverage with new site in Argentina.
Satellite constellations multiply on profit hopes, geopolitics
Ball Aerospace prototype payload to provide on-orbit data processing
Student-built satellite uses 'beach ball' for an antenna
Airbus partners with Kythera for OneSat mission sizing software
Keysight introduces 2 GHz real-time spectrum analysis solution for satellite operators
Scientists have new tool to estimate how much water might be hidden beneath a planet's surface
Rutgers scientists identify substance that may have sparked life on earth
Terminator zones on distant planets could harbor life
Dragonfly Mass Spectrometer could reveal chemistry leading to life on Titan
Study finds ocean currents may affect rotation of Europa's icy crust
New Horizons team discusses discoveries from the Kuiper Belt
New Horizons team adds AI to Kuiper Belt Object search
Inspiring mocktail menu served up by Space Juice winners
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters|