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Wallops Electrical Engineering Branch
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Electrical Engineering Division
Code 560, NASA GSFC Greenbelt, Maryland

Wallops Electrical Engineering Branch, Code 569

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The Wallops Electrical Engineering Branch is responsible for conception, analysis, design, development, validation, and implementation of electrical/electronic, RF, microwave, and millimeter wave components and systems in support of the Wallops Flight Facility missions, projects, and technology initiatives.

Primary customers include

  • Wallops Suborbital and Special Orbital Projects Directorate’s Safety Office
  • Sounding Rocket Program
  • Balloon Program
  • Aircraft Program
  • Range and Mission Management Program
  • University Class Satellite Project
  • Shuttle Small Payloads Project
  • Wallops Ground Network Project
  • Earth Sciences Directorate’s Observational Science Branch at Wallops.

The Wallops Electrical Engineering Branch provides world-class expertise for development of both flight and ground instrumentation, communication, and radar components and systems for Wallops ELV’s, sounding rockets, aircraft, balloons, satellites, shuttle payloads, ocean-borne payloads and support systems.

Design and development is provided for products and systems involving

  • command and data handling systems
  • power generation and distributions systems
  • RF, microwave and millimeter wave telemetry, radar, and command systems
  • antenna systems
  • communications systems
  • control systems
  • data acquisition and storage systems
  • pyrotechnic/ mechanism deployment electronics

Branch personnel work closely with the flight projects, the Mission Services Ground Network Program(Code 452) and the Wallops Test Range to develop these components/systems and their associated infrastructure. They conduct theoretical studies, develop simulations and models, and provide contractor oversight as required.

The branch partners with other Wallops and Greenbelt AETD branches as well as other Centers and Government agencies on these development efforts. The Branch also works with industry to develop next generation space, airborne and ground electrical, communication and radar components and systems.

Integration and Test capabilities are provided for technology development efforts, project, and end-to-end mission system support with skills in flight harness development; flight component electronic packaging; airborne and ground telecommunication, radar, and instrumentation systems, antennas, electromagnetic compatibility and RF interference analysis; and ground system implementation.

Mission Engineering capabilities include

  • spectrum management
  • RF link budget analysis
  • mission planning analysis
  • consultation for evaluation of mission readiness, and systems operation and maintenance performance

Representation is provided for membership to NASA Committees, Range Commanders Committees, and the USAF Instrumentation Radar Support Program involving spectrum management and range instrumentation. Engineering expertise contributes to the conceptual planning of future missions, experiments, and advancements in technology associated with flight systems and supporting systems enabling experimentation and science activities.

Facilities and Labs

Branch Laboratory Facilities include Electronics, Microwave, and Telemetry Laboratories, a shielded Dual-Mode Far Field/Compact Range Antenna Pattern Measurement Facility, a shielded EMI/EMC Measurement Facility, and a 5.3 Meter Ka/S-Band Technology Demonstrator Tracking Antenna System and Ground station.

Some Branch Projects and Products

Code 569 provides key support to development of balloon craft instrumentation systems in support of the Ultra-Long Duration Balloon (ULDB) Program. Product Design Leads for the electrical power and telecommunications subsystems design and test critical systems of the Command Data Module. Code 569 also provides Chief Engineering, and Integration and Test personnel.

Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (CREAM) mission Command Data Module under test

Cosmic Ray Energentics and Mass (CREAM) mission Command Data Module under test

ULDB Test Flight CDM

ULDB Test Flight CDM

ULDB TDRSS Program Track Antenna

ULDB TDRSS Program Track Antenna

Code 569 provides technical support to projects managed by the Shuttle Small Payload Projects Office. Laboratory activities include Integration, Test and De-integration of Student Experiment Modules (SEM).

support to projects

Code 569 provides technical support to the Code 972 Aero Science Lab (ASL) in developing integrated airborne instrumentation and platform systems to augment current measurement capabilities with small, uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) for both remote sensing and in-situ measurements.

Support to Code Code 972

Support to Code 972

ImageAire ii for the "Remote Sensing Earth Science Teacher Program" DDF project with view of embedded video, infrared, and digital camera systems.

Code 569 has led the development of several Mobile Range Instrumentation Systems in recent years. Developed systems include telemetry data acquisition and those providing command and control to ELV class vehicles in the application of range safety. In addition, failsafe power systems for mobile range power have been developed to help ensure safe and successful mission conduct at remote launch ranges.

Mobile Command System 1A, Mobile Telemetry 7-meter S-Band Systems, and Mobile Power System #2 as deployed for support

Mobile Command System 1A, Mobile Telemetry 7-Meter S-Band System, and Mobile Power System #2 as deployed for support.

Moblie Range Control System #2

Mobile Range Control System #2

Mobile Command System Instrumentation

Mobile Command System Instrumentation

Code 569 also provides technical leadership in the development of Advanced Range Technology Initiatives (ARTI) and demonstrations in support of the Wallops Test Range and Ground Network Project. Improved and technologically advanced products for both flight and ground applications are provided.

TDRSS 5-watt Power Amplifer

TDRSS 5-Watt Power Amplifier

Ka-Band Antenna

Ka-Band Antenna