REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center acquired a cryogenic space chamber designed to test kill vehicle interceptors at Redstone Arsenal.

This Re-designed Kill Vehicle Development Laboratory space chamber simulates an exo-atmospheric environment to test kill vehicle systems. Orbital ATK in Logan, Utah developed the space chamber.

The RDL's mission provides engineering and technical expertise to Missile Defense Agency in the development, testing and assessment of the next-generation Redesigned Kill Vehicle. The RKV is designed to defend the country against long-range ballistic missile attacks. It offers improved performance and reliability and will augment the current capability.

"AMRDEC is providing a capability for MDA's RKV program, specifically simulation capabilities, as an independent government assessment asset," said AMRDEC RDL Program Manager, Terry Townson. "The technical expertise we provide to MDA helps gain confidence in these missile systems."

RDL is a set of three independent, co-located AMRDEC government facilities within the AMRDEC System Simulation and Development Directorate. The three labs comprise Modeling & Simulation, Hardware-in-the-Loop and Software-In-The-Loop.

The HWIL lab provides Computer-In-the-Loop and Seeker-In-the-Loop simulations utilizing combinations of tactical hardware and software as well as real-time digital models and simulations. The HWIL lab's space chamber provides critical RKV component testing in realistic conditions.

"We perform these critical hardware, software and simulation assessments and learn about the missile's capabilities prior to flight testing and production," Townson said. "This saves the taxpayers and the government millions of dollars. This is made possible with the support of these laboratories."

According to Townson, the space chamber will achieve initial operational capability in 2018.


U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.