Neutron™ 104 – A 2023 Retrospective: Transforming Acoustic Testing in Spaceflight

Revolutionizing DFAN Testing: A Journey of Innovation and Impact

The ARS team faced a significant challenge when embarking on the quest to innovate Direct Field Acoustic Testing (DFAN). In earlier iterations, DFAN testing seemed sufficiently addressed with existing solutions. The prevalent mindset was: if the test is loud enough, works well enough and fits the task well enough, why rock the boat?

Our journey began with a simple question: could we do DFAN testing better?

Purpose Built to Address Fundamental Challenges

ARS’ breakthrough in acoustic design came not from adding layers of complexity but from a fundamental shift in approach – solving the root acoustical problems rather than just addressing their symptoms.

This pivotal understanding led to the development of the Neutron™ 104 a purpose-built, single-source acoustic device that’s transforming the landscape of DFAN testing. The technical advantages of the Neutron™ 104 were evident from the outset. The Neutron™ 104 eliminated the need for the complex compensations inherent in legacy systems, paving the way for unprecedented field uniformity, safer structural excitation and more reliable outcomes.

Our journey with the Neutron™ System, however, is just beginning. As we enter 2024, we expect the Neutron™ to create impact in the following ways:

  • Widespread adoption in North America: the overwhelming majority of North American DFAN customers have chosen ARS’s Neutron™ System for their testing needs. This is a testament to our expanded capabilities and the industry’s recognition of our reliable and accurate testing services.
  • Diverse applications: Neutron’s™ novel scalability is showcased in an array of projects, from smallsats to spaceplanes. We’re working with customers to test small cubesats, large LEO constellations and with Sierra Space to test their groundbreaking Dream Chaser reusable spaceplane.
  • European Expansion: the largest Neutron™ System in Europe will soon be operational at the UK’s National Satellite Test Facility. Our continuing involvement with the European Space Agency’s DFAN working group underscores our commitment to advancing DFAN testing practices across the continent.

A New Paradigm in 2024
For 2024, we’re energized and ready for the challenges ahead. Neutron™ is not just a new product; it represents a paradigm shift in DFAN testing globally. Our team is poised to take on the most demanding spaceflight hardware testing campaigns, setting new standards in the industry.

Here’s to a year of innovation, impact and advancing the frontiers of acoustic testing in aerospace. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to redefine what’s possible in the realm of DFAN testing.

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