The Glenn Research Center Aerospace Communications Facility will be devoted to communication research. It will further NASA’s advanced communication technology for space exploration and aviation as well as commercial and defense communications. The completed facility will be NASA’s premier facility for radio frequency communications technology research and development. It will allow NASA and commercial partners to develop faster, high capacity communications for future missions to the moon and Mars. It also will house research in advanced communication for future urban air mobility (UAM) and autonomous flying vehicles. The facility is part of a series of improvements and new construction outlined in the Center’s master plan.
The building will provide research space for approximately 40 communication laboratories and house 110 research personnel, consolidating seven current buildings into a single space. Designed to achieve LEED Gold, and Net Zero ready, the facility combines water conservation and energy reduction features as well as strategies to offset its carbon footprint.
A large part of the research focus is on antenna design, development and testing, including a horizontal near field antenna range, compact antenna range, and optical range. The antenna ranges have exacting requirements for vibration, temperature and humidity control, as well as requiring shielding from radio frequency and electromagnetic interference. Alongside these ranges will be electronics laboratories, machine shop, storage spaces, hoteling and conference spaces.
HERA’s role on the project includes programming, lab planning and design. HERA led the programming sessions with NASA stakeholders to establish the project program, created adjacency and stacking diagrams—establishing in broad strokes of what is going to be where—and recommended room dimensions and proportions.
HERA designed preliminary laboratory layouts showing general casework layout, location of major fixed equipment and other lab features. We reviewed cost estimates and wrote specifications for the lab and lab equipment portions of the project.
“Just wanted to thank you and your team for all of the hard work on this project. We can be a picky bunch here at NASA but your team did everything possible to meet our needs. The Ross Barney team received excellent reviews from all involved and set the bar for building design here at GRC.”
Ryan Munro, Team Lead, Engineering Management Branch
Laboratory programming, planning and design
LEED Gold and Net Zero Ready
Ross Barney Architects