FACTOID # 22: South Dakota has the highest employment ratio in America, but the lowest median earnings of full-time male employees.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Wallops Flight Facility

Wallops Flight Facility


Coordinates: Latitude 37.84386° N Longitude 75.48192° W

Enlarge
Small Rocket Launches; UAV & Research Aircraft; Balloon Launch; Mobile Range Van; Sounding Rocket Launch into Aurora Borealis; Wallops Island Facilities; Research Airport & Main Base; Range Instrumentation; Launch Pad Gantry.
The NASA Wallops Flight Facility Range
Enlarge
The NASA Wallops Flight Facility Range

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Centeroperates the Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, primarily as a rocket launch site to support science and exploration missions for NASA and other federal agencies. WFF includes an extensively instrumented range to support launches of more than a dozen typesof sounding rockets, small expendable suborbital and orbital rockets, high altitude balloon flights carrying scientific instruments for atmospheric and astronomical research and—using its Research Airport—flight tests of aeronautical research aircraft including unmanned aerial vehicles. The WFF range supports science missions for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and occasionally for foreign governments and commercial organizations. It also supports development tests and exercises involving U.S. Navy aircraft and ship-based electronics and weapon systems in the Virginia Capes operating area near the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. Image File history File links 01-WFF_Beach_View_Banner. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (641x711, 699 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Wallops Flight Facility ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (641x711, 699 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Wallops Flight Facility ... Image File history File links 03-WFF_Launch_Range_Map. ... Image File history File links 03-WFF_Launch_Range_Map. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Eastern Shore of Virginia is on the Atlantic Coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia. ... A rocket launch site is a facility for the launch of rockets. ... A Redstone rocket, part of the Mercury program A rocket is a vehicle, missile or aircraft which obtains thrust by the reaction to the ejection of fast moving exhaust gas from within a rocket engine. ... High altitude balloons are balloons, usually filled with helium, that are released into the upper atmosphere, generally reaching between 60,000 and 120,000 feet. ... The maiden flight of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground of its own accord. ... Pioneer UAV flying over Iraq UAVs in a hangar A Boeing 720 being flown under remote control as part of NASAs Controlled Impact Demonstration An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also called a drone, is a term used by the US military, the Israeli Defence Forces and others to describe... The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency of the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... The Virginia Capes are the two capes, Cape Charles to the north and Cape Henry to the south, that define the entrance to Chesapeake Bay on the eastern coast of North America. ... Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it. ...


In addition to its fixed-location instrumentation assets, the WFF range includes mobile radars, telemetry receivers, and command transmitters that can be deployed by aircraft to locations around the world to establish a temporary range where no other instrumentation exists to ensure safety and collect data to enable and support suborbital rocket launches from remote sites. The WFF mobile range assets have been used to support rocket launches from locations in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, South America, Africa, Europe, Australia, and even at sea. This long range radar antenna, known as ALTAIR, is used to detect and track space objects in conjunction with ABM testing at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll[1]. Radar is a system that uses radio waves to detect, determine the distance of, and map, objects such... Telemetry is a technology that allows the remote measurement and reporting of information of interest to the system designer or operator. ... The red line indicates the 10°C isotherm in July, commonly used to define the Arctic region border The Arctic is the area around the Earths North Pole. ... Greek ἀνταρκτικός, opposite the arctic) is a continent surrounding the Earths South Pole. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Africa is the worlds second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia. ... Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one, leading to various perspectives about Europes borders. ...


More than 1,000 full-time Civil Service employees work for NASA at Wallops Flight Facility each day, along with more than 300 Navy personnel and almost 100 employees of NOAA. A civil servant or public servant is a civilian career public sector employee working for a government department or agency. ...


The Wallops Visitor Center has a variety of hands-on exhibits and it hosts weekly educational activities and programs designed to enable children to explore and learn about the technologies designed and used by NASA researchers and scientists. In addition, one Saturday each month, NASA invites model rocketry enthusiasts to bring their own rockets and launch them from the WFF rocket launch site. NASA personnel also participate, launching models of various rockets and explaining the spacecraft they carry in real life. If you are interested in participating in one of these programs, or would like to find out more about these activities, please contact the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Public Affairs Office at 757-824-1579. A model rocket. ... A rocket launch site is a facility for the launch of rockets. ... A spacecraft is designed to leave Earths atmosphere and operate beyond the surface of the Earth in space. ...

Contents


History

Enlarge
Early research rockets at Wallops Island.
Wallops flight tests of Mercury Capsule escape tower and Apollo heat shield aboard a Scout.
Enlarge
Wallops flight tests of Mercury Capsule escape tower and Apollo heat shield aboard a Scout.

In 1945, NASA's predecessor agency, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), established a rocket launch site on Wallops Island under the direction of the Langley Research Center. This site was designated the Pilotless Aircraft Research Station and conducted high-speed aerodynamic research to supplement wind tunnel and laboratory investigations into the problems of flight. In 1958, Congress established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which absorbed Langley Research Center and other NACA field centers and research facilities. At that time, the Pilotless Aircraft Research Station became a separate facility - Wallops Station - operating directly under NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1959, NASA acquired the former Chincoteague Naval Air Station, and engineering and administrative activities were moved to this location. In 1974, the Wallops Station was named Wallops Flight Center. The name was changed to Wallops Flight Facility in 1981, when it became part of Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. Image File history File links 04-WFF_History. ... Image File history File links 04-WFF_History. ... Image File history File links 05-WFF_Mercury_Apollo_Tests. ... Image File history File links 05-WFF_Mercury_Apollo_Tests. ... NACA official seal The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. ... A rocket launch site is a facility for the launch of rockets. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Langley Research Center (LaRC) Oldest of NASAs field centers, LaRC is located in Hampton, Virginia, and focuses primarily on aeronautical research. ... Aerial view of Goddard Space Flight Center. ... Location in Prince Georges County, Maryland Founded  -Incorporated 1937 {{{incorporated}}}  County Prince Georges County Mayor Judith F. Davis Area  - Total  - Water 15. ...


In the early years, research at Wallops was concentrated on obtaining aerodynamic data at transonic and low supersonic speeds. Between 1959 and 1961, Project Mercury capsules were tested at Wallops in support of NASA's manned space flight program before the astronauts were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Some of these tests using the Little Joe Booster rocket were designed to flight-qualify components of the Mercury spacecraft, including the escape and recovery systems and some of the life support systems. Two rhesus monkeys, Sam and Miss Sam, were sent aloft acting as pioneers for the astronauts; both were recovered safely. Since 1945, the Wallops Test Range has launched more than 14,000 research vehicles in the quest for information on the flight characteristics of airplanes, launch vehicles, and spacecraft, and to increase the knowledge of the Earth's upper atmosphere and the near space environment. The launch vehicles vary in size and power from the small Super Loki meteorological rockets to orbital class vehicles. Official language(s) English Capital Largest city Tallahassee Jacksonville Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,794 sq. ... Little Joe was also a railroad locomotive type Little Joe Program When NASA went shopping for a booster to use in the Mercury program they found that the Atlas rockets would cost approximately $2. ... A booster in space-related applications is usually a solid rocket booster: a solid fuel rocket of which two or more are attached to the main rocket to provide the main thrust in the initial phase of the rockets flight. ... Binomial name Macaca mulatta Zimmermann, 1780 The Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta), often called the Rhesus monkey, is one of the best known species of Old World monkeys. ... The Super Loki is a upgrade version the Loki sounding rocket. ...


Wallops Flight Facility continues to be a small, fast response, matrix organization that can accomplish rocket and balloon projects, spacecraft orbital tracking, airborne science support, and aeronautical research.


Location

Enlarge
NASA GSFC Wallops Flight Facility and Vicinity, with its three separate parcels of real property.

The WFF Main Base is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, on the Delmarva Peninsula 5 miles west of Chincoteague, Virginia, approximately 90 miles north of Norfolk, Virginia, and 40 miles southeast of Salisbury, Maryland. WFF consists of three separate parcels of real property totaling 6,200 acres (25 km²): the Main Base, the Mainland, and the Wallops Island Launch Site. The Mainland and the Wallops Island Launch Site are approximately 7 miles southeast of the Main Base. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (904x553, 236 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Wallops Flight Facility ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (904x553, 236 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Wallops Flight Facility ... The Eastern Shore of Virginia is on the Atlantic Coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia. ... Delmarva Peninsula map The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by portions of three U.S. states: Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. ... Chincoteague is a town located in Accomack County, Virginia. ... Official language(s) English Capital Largest city Richmond Virginia Beach Area  Ranked 35th  - Total 42,793 sq. ... Norfolk (pronounced IPA: ) is a low-lying county in East Anglia in the east of southern England. ... Official language(s) English Capital Largest city Richmond Virginia Beach Area  Ranked 35th  - Total 42,793 sq. ... Nickname: Crossroad of Delmarva Founded Incorporated 1732 1854  County Wicomico County Mayor Barrie P. Tilghman Area  - Total  - Water 29. ... This article is about the unit of measure known as the acre. ... A square metre (US spelling: square meter) is by definition the area enclosed by a square with sides each 1 metre long. ...


Facilities Overview

Enlarge
Enlarge

WFF has a wide variety of facilities to support its operations, providing a combination of low cost access to space and the ability to respond quickly to the demand for range services. The NASA Wallops Research Range is like a “Wind Tunnel in the Sky”, providing benefits to the scientific and experimental launch vehicle communities, and offering test support to enable development and testing of space exploration systems and technologies. Image File history File links 07-WFF_Low_Cost_Access_Diagram. ... Image File history File links 07-WFF_Low_Cost_Access_Diagram. ... Image File history File links 08-WFF_Airspace. ... Image File history File links 08-WFF_Airspace. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Critical to these activities are controlled airspace, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified runways, an experimental UAV runway, Crash, Fire & Rescue Services, and FAA qualified Air Traffic Controllers. The controlled airspace includes the following restricted areas: Controlled airspace exists in areas where air traffic control is capable of providing traffic separation. ... The Federal Aviation Administration is the entity of the United States government which regulates and oversees all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S. // Activities Along with the European Joint Aviation Authorities, the FAA is one of the two main agencies worldwide responsible for the certification of new aircraft. ... Aerial picture of a runway of Chennai International Airport, Tamil Nadu A runway is a strip of land on an airport, on which aircraft can take off and land. ... Controllers survey the field at Misawa Air Base, Japan. ...

  • The WFF Airport Control Zone to 2,500 feet within a 5-statute mile radius of the airport
  • Restricted Area R-6604 connecting WFF airspace and offshore warning areas.
Wallops Research Airport and Main Base.
Enlarge
Wallops Research Airport and Main Base.

WFF has facilities for the receipt, inspection, assembly, checkout, and storage of rocket motors and other hazardous pyrotechnic devices. The Wallops Island Launch Site includes six launch pads, three blockhouses for launch control, and assembly buildings to support the preparation and launching of suborbital and orbital launch vehicles. A mile is any of several units of distance, or, in physics terminology, of length. ... Image File history File links 15-WFF_Main_Base. ... Image File history File links 15-WFF_Main_Base. ... A launch pad is designed and built to meet a launch vehicles special needs and requirements. ... A 19th-century-era block house in Fort York, Toronto In military science, a blockhouse is a small, isolated fort in the form of a single building. ...


The Wallops Research Range includes ground-based and mobile systems, and a range control center. Its radar facilities and systems are used for tracking and surveillance. Telemetry facilities include a variety of antennas, receivers, and display instrumentation systems. Command uplink and optical tracking facilities are included as part of the range. The Wallops Research Range also provides premier digital photographic and video services including operation of numerous still cameras, high speed and video systems for Range Safety support, surveillance, and post-launch analysis (e.g., failure analysis), project documentation (e.g., fabrication and test), administrative documentation, and archiving for environmental studies. In addition, WFF has a variety of communications systems and facilities to route voice, video, and data in support of launch processing, flight and test operations.

The Wallops mobile range instrumentation includes telemetry, radar, command and power systems. These assets are used as needed to supplement instrumentation at existing ranges, or to establish a temporary range to ensure safety and collect data to support the rocket customers in a remote location where no other range instrumentation exists. This complement of transportable systems can be deployed to provide complete range capabilities at remote locations around the world.

The NASA Wallops Mobile Range instrumentation has been deployed to support launch events in dozens of locations around the world.
Enlarge
The NASA Wallops Mobile Range instrumentation has been deployed to support launch events in dozens of locations around the world.

While Wallops Island, Virginia is the prime location for range services major sounding rocket campaigns have been supported at Poker Flat, Alaska, Andoya, Norway and Kwajalein Island, Marshall Islands. The Balloon Program and meteorological research missions have required range services to travel to some of the most remote locations on the earth. The Wallops Mobile Instrumentation is unique in that it integrates seamlessly into NASA and Department of Defense (DoD) networks, and can be used to supplement established ranges in support of rocket launches. The WFF Research Airport is located on the Main Base. There are three runway(from 4,810 to 8,750 feet long), two taxiways, three ramps, and one hazardous cargo loading area in active service. Two ramps adjoin the two active hangars, and a third ramp adjoins the Crash Fire and Rescue building. The primary research runway has a test section with a variety of surface textures and materials for runway research projects. Image File history File links 16-WFF_Launch_Locations. ... Image File history File links 16-WFF_Launch_Locations. ... Poker Flat is a launch site for sounding rockets in Alaska at 65°07′01″N, 147°28′01″W. There are 5 launchpads at Poker Flats. ... Official language(s) English Capital Largest city Juneau Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi  (1,717,854 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ... County Nordland Landscape VesterÃ¥len Municipality NO-1871 Administrative centre Andenes Mayor (2005) Jonni Helge Solsvik (H) Official language form Neutral Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 169 656 km² 616 km² 0. ... Kwajalein Atoll - NASA NLT Landsat 7 (Visible Color) Satellite Image Kwajalein Atoll (Marshallese: Kuwajleen) is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). ... The United States Department of Defense, abbreviated DoD or DOD and sometimes called the Defense Department, is a civilian Cabinet organization of the United States government. ... Aerial picture of a runway of Chennai International Airport, Tamil Nadu A runway is a strip of land on an airport, on which aircraft can take off and land. ... A taxiway is a strip of land on an airport on which aircraft can roll (taxi) to or from a hangar, terminal, runway, or other facility. ...


Weather measurements and predictions are critical to all Research Airport operations, rocket and balloon launches, and in safely conducting hazardous operations on the ground. NASA Wallops meteorological services provide measurements of upper atmospheric and magnetic phenomena to augment and enable collection of scientific data by sensors aboard flight vehicles. The SPANDAR S-band Doppler Radar system at Wallops is the most capable research radar in the world, capable of automatic unambiguous tracking of targets up to 60,000 kilometers away. It can detect a single 3-millimeter raindrop at a range of 10 kilometers and cloud water content as little as 1 gram per cubic meter. SPANDAR’s sensitivity with its 60-foot dish antenna can detect small changes in the refractive index of air caused by sea breeze fronts, gust fronts, and various forms of clear air turbulence. SPANDAR and the other atmospheric instrumentation at Wallops provide the most instrumented column of air between earth and space. A kilometer (Commonwealth spelling: kilometre), symbol: km is a unit of length in the metric system equal to 1,000 metres (from the Greek words χίλια (khilia) = thousand and μέτρο (metro) = count/measure). ... A millimetre (American spelling: millimeter), symbol mm is an SI unit of length that is equal to one thousandth of a metre. ... The gram or gramme, symbol g, is a unit of mass. ... The cubic metre (symbol m³) is the SI derived unit of volume. ... The refractive index (or index of refraction) of a material is the factor by which the phase velocity of electromagnetic radiation is slowed in that material, relative to its velocity in a vacuum. ... Clear-Air Turbulence (often abbreviated CAT and sometimes colloquially referred to as air pockets) is the erratic movement of air masses in the absence of any visual cues (such as clouds). ...


Range Technology Development

Envisioned Future Range Architecture.
Enlarge
Envisioned Future Range Architecture.
Enlarge
Low-Cost TDRSS Transceiver (LCT2) prototype hardware developed by NASA WFF and schematic comparing NASA WFF’s Autonomous Flight Safety System (AFSS) to traditional (manual) flight safety system in use today.

The Wallops Research Range is well designed to lead the development of promising range technologies for NASA, DoD and FAA. Current, proven range systems can be operated in parallel while new technologies are being developed and tested, without adding risk to a large expensive payload and without causing safety issues. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2000x1500, 1295 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Wallops Flight Facility ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2000x1500, 1295 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Wallops Flight Facility ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (902x446, 277 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Wallops Flight Facility ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (902x446, 277 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Wallops Flight Facility ...


Since 2001, engineers at NASA Wallops Flight Facility have been working to address advances in range technology that can provide the best leverage to improve the cost and responsiveness of launch and flight test activities, by developing new systems and approaches that can be implemented within the constraints of available funding and program schedules. Specifically, NASA Wallops has been leading two range technology development projects the Autonomous Flight Safety System (AFSS) and the Low Cost TDRSS Transceiver (LCT2).


The AFSS project seeks to develop an autonomous on-board system that can augment or replace the function of the traditional ground-commanded Range Safety flight termination system. The AFSS will use redundant on-board navigation sensors and flight processors to monitor the progress of the expendable launch vehicle with respect to multiple flight termination criteria (based on safety and risk analysis) and if necessary, generate signals that can be used to initiate pyrotechnic devices to terminate the flight.


The goal of the LCT2 effort is to produce a transceiver that will significantly lower the flight hardware costs required to communicate through NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) and will meet the suborbital and orbital launch vehicle needs for telemetry and command relay over the horizon from the launch site. Its design and development are being pursued as part of the Space Based Range Demonstration and Certification (SBRDC) program (formerly called Space Based Telemetry and Range Safety (STARS)) in cooperation with NASA Kennedy Space Center. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) is a network of communications satellites (each called a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite or TDRS) used by NASA and other United States government agencies. ...


Missions

WFF’s primary mission areas are as follows:

With its sounding rocket and balloon flights carrying scientific payloads, its aeronautical systems testing, its range support for Space Shuttle launches, and its educational outreach activities, WFF supports all of NASA’s Mission Directorates and practically all of their respective Themes:

Launch Schedule

The schedule for sounding rocket launches from NASA Wallops Flight Facility is posted on its official website.


Alliances

The NASA Wallops Flight Facility has alliances with a number of organizations that are important to its mission and future growth. Some examples include the following:

Coast Guard shield The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a military branch of the United States involved in maritime law, mariner assistance and search and rescue, among other duties of any coast guard. ...

External links

Books

      • Wallops Station and the Creation of an American Space Program, by Harold D. Wallace (NASA History Series) (Paperback). ISBN 9997565967
      • Wallops Island (Images of America: Virginia), by Nan Devincent Hayes and Bowen Bennett (Paperback). ISBN 0738506664

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sky-High Hopes for Future of Wallops: Va., Md. Officials Foresee Busy Niche for Launch Facility - Space - RedOrbit (1430 words)
With good weather, the morning flight of the 69-foot, four-stage Minotaur I rocket should be visible for hundreds of miles as it rises to place two satellites into an orbit 254 miles high.
The Wallops Flight Facility is best known for its work with sub-orbital rockets and balloons, mostly for government-sponsored military, science and weather research.
Wallops is also one of just five federally licensed sites for commercial launches to orbit, and the Virginians were the first to recognize its commercial potential.
Goddard Space Flight Center - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1441 words)
The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is a major NASA space research laboratory established on May 1, 1959 as NASA's first space flight center.
The Magnetics Test Facility, located in a magnetic-quiet area, uses large coil magnets operated from a single control building to calibrate and align both instrumentation and spacecraft attitude control systems, and determine of the dipole moment of spacecraft.
The Wallops Flight Facility located in Wallops Island, Virginia was established in 1945, and is one of the oldest launch sites in the world.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m