Aboard NASA’s Freedom Star boat in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Port Canaveral in Florida, NASA’s Mobile Aerospace Reconnaissance System, or MARS, is being tested.
MARS, run by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., with its spatial, hyperspectral, thermal, and directed energy capabilities will be used for thermal imaging testing for the upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule test flight to the International Space Station. During today’s test, the MARS X-band radar and kineto tracking mount KTM were tested to ensure that they were synchronized to receive a rocket launch feed. The radar was used to identify an object to see if the KTM could lock on to and track it. The MARS team performed maintenance on the system, confirmed communications links, and tested the design of the mounting system and environmental enclosure. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston