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AFRL Opens New Lab at Kirtland AFB for Deployable Space Structure Tests

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Deployable Space
Deployable Space Structure Tests

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has inaugurated a new facility at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, built to test novel deployable space structures for the service branch.

The 7,000 square foot Deployable Structures Laboratory features a secure and climate-controlled, vibration isolated area to test high-strain composite materials, USAF said Tuesday.

DeSel with its specialized equipment will also be used to evaluate the repeatability and precision of spacecraft structure deployments.

"Some of the first structures that we look forward to testing in this new lab are those required for our Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstration and Research project, one of our top priority programs," Col. Eric Felt, director at AFRL's space vehicles directorate.

Felt added that SSPIDR is meant to gather solar energy and convert it into radio frequency signals for forward operating bases. The Air Force earmarked $4 million for the construction of the laboratory.