NASA Opening New Aerospace Communication Facility to Focus on RF Research

NASA hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its upcoming new Aerospace Communications Facility (ACF) at the agency's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on Wednesday, March 4. The Glenn Research Center continues to develop advanced radio frequency (RF) technology for NASA's aeronautics, science, and human exploration missions. The new facility will enable Glenn to further advance communication technology needed to meet the nation's space exploration and aviation goals, as well as enable commercial and defense communications.

The upcoming 54,000 square foot facility will be NASA's premier facility for RF communications technology research and development. It will allow NASA and commercial partners to develop faster, higher capacity communications for future missions to the Moon and Mars. It will also house research in advanced communication for future urban air mobility and autonomous flying vehicles.

In November, Glenn awarded a $33.8 million contract to The Austin Company in Cleveland to build the new Aerospace Communications Facility. The building will be certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Construction is expected to be complete by next winter, and full occupancy is scheduled for the fall of 2022.

The facility is part of a series of improvements and new construction at Glenn's Lewis Field as part of the center's Master Plan. The Mission Integration Center opened in 2014, and a new Research Support Building is scheduled to open later this year.