Testing Large Communication Satellites

Testing a family of large communication satellites for a manufacturer with proprietary bus structure.


For this challenge, ARS supported the customer with testing a family of large communication satellites for a manufacturer with proprietary bus structure. The parameters were to provide highly consistent and repeatable acoustic testing to satisfy multiple end customer requirements, as well as support a high-SPL envelope of multiple launch vehicles. The customer manufactures several per year and requires a test configuration that can be set up expediently, and available on short notice to meet their testing schedules. Accurate pre-test vibroacoustic simulation was required with the expectation of a strong correlation of test to model. The customer combines acoustic specifications from multiple launch vehicles together into a single envelope, so successful qualification is critical as it allows the end customer to have maximum flexibility in selecting a launch vehicle.


  1. Develop system configuration utilizing significantly less devices and accessories to meet the same OASPL and physical space requirements that were previously met with a concert line array system.
  2. Reach customer specified 1/3Oct levels with full-range device, obviating the need for separate subwoofers.
  3. Provide contractually guaranteed availability of DFAN system to meet customer’s test schedules.
  4. Utilize proprietary calibrated Neutron™ sources in wave6 vibroacoustic simulation software so customer can conduct highly accurate virtual DFAN testing ahead of physical test, shortening test cycles and increasing confidence.


Neutron™ reached the target OASPL and 1/3Oct targets with headroom to spare, providing significantly improved uniformity versus legacy concert systems while drawing 80% less power from mains power source. Number of devices required was reduced by nearly 50% versus concert line array and subwoofer systems, helping to realize significantly shorter testing cycles. Data delivery from ARS included complete time histories from every control and monitor microphone in the field, significantly increasing the customer’s available dataset and quality of post-test analysis information. Growth in ARS’ inventory of Neutrons™ and ARSDrive control systems coupled with increases in support staff and test directors enabled ARS to commit to guaranteed availability of Neutrons™ for testing with no blackout dates.


Explore More