AFRL Leader Tapped for Space Force Key Acquisition Position

Col. Eric Felt

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PE) — The Air Force Research Laboratory recently announced the assignment of its Space Vehicles Directorate director, Col. Eric J. Felt, to a position with the U.S. Space Force as Deputy Executive Director for the Space Architecture, Science and Technology Directorate at the Pentagon, with an effective date in July.

Felt has led the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, located at Kirtland AFB, since July 2018, and serves in a dual-hatted role as commander of the Phillips Research Site, which encompasses military command authority for AFRL’s Space Vehicles and Directed Energy Directorates.

As director, Felt leads a team of more than 1,080 military, civilian and on-site contractors who comprise the nation’s center of excellence for military space science and technology. The directorate focuses on enduring Space Force space missions: communications; position navigation and timing; missile warning; space domain awareness; and space control.

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AFRL Selects 10 Universities for Prestigious Satellite Program

Graphic representation of Arachne, the first solar power beaming experiment for the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations & Research Project. (Credit: AFRL)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s University Nanosatellite Program (UNP) has selected 10 universities to participate in the upcoming 2-year partnership to design, fabricate and test small satellites.

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AFRL Uses Expedited Acquisition Process in Latest Spacecraft Contract Award

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) — The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate awarded an $8.4 million contract to Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. to support the directorate’s Precise flight experiment projected for launch in 2024.

“The Precise flight experiment represents a new orbital regime for AFRL in Very Low Earth Orbit,” said Dr. Rachel Hock-Mysliwiec, Precise program manager. “This experiment builds on more than 50 years of AFRL investigation into the physics of the upper atmosphere.”

Hock-Mysliwiec elaborated that the experiment will study ionization processes in the region of ionized gas, between 90 and 600 kilometers altitude.

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AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate Holds First-ever Space Cyber Summit

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate held an inaugural Space Cyber Summit October 13–14. More than 140 space professionals participated in the in-person and virtual event held at Kirtland AFB.

The gathering included space experts from across AFRL, the U.S. Space Force, several federally funded research and development centers, NASA, and many other organizations. 

Col. Eric Felt, director of AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate, initiated the first-ever event, prompted by anticipated R&D technology challenges:

  • A future space domain where space systems will become increasingly software-defined, autonomous, and connected
  • Possible methods to improve cyber resilience of legacy space systems
  • The continuing trend of the commercialization of space
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AFRL Breaks Ground on State of the Art Space Environment Laboratory

A rendering of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Skyway Technology Laboratory that will be constructed on Kirtland AFB, N.M. The AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate held a groundbreaking ceremony March 16. The construction contractor is QA Engineering and architectural contractor is WHPacific, both of Albuquerque, N.M. The lab is projected for occupancy in early 2022. (Rendering by WHPacific)

By Jeanne Dailey
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate broke ground on a new facility named the Skywave Technology Laboratory on March 16. The 3,500 square foot, $3.5 million lab will be located in a remote area on Kirtland Air Force Base.

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AFRL’s Newest Lab to Focus on Deployable Space Structures

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 29 to celebrate the completion of its newest construction project, the Deployable Structures Laboratory, or DeSel, for short. 

Construction of the $4 million, 7,000+ square foot laboratory began in Dec. 2019. Scientists and engineers working in this new laboratory will continue the work of the Spacecraft Component Technology Center of Excellence that has a long history of technology development and transition in spacecraft structure materials.

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