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Kodiak Launch

Kodiak LaunchOn March 22, 2001 the U.S. Navy Launched a Quick Response Launch Vehicle from the Kodiak, Alaska Spaceport. One of the three experiments on-board was the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Ballistic Missile Range Safety Technology (BMRST) System. The BMRST is designed to support military and commercial space launch vehicles to aid in the range safety function. The BMRST System provides precise remote position using the Global Positioning System (GPS) and an Inertial Navigation System (INS) for range safety. The equipment installed on-board the launch vehicle transmits information using an S-Band data link to two ground tracking antennas, which are also part of the BMRST System. This information is used to track the launch vehicle as it travels throughout its flight profile looking for abnormal behavior. If the launch vehicle travels outside of predestinated flight corridors, and produces a danger to public safety, the BMRST System has a command destruct capability to terminate the flight.

Ohio University researchers have been supporting the AFRL BMRST Program by providing engineering and technical support to help the final system obtain certification for use. As part of this effort, an Ohio University research team of Dr. Chris G. Bartone (Assistant Professor), Mr. Aaron Wilson (Research Engineer), Mr. Bryan Branham (Research Pilot), and Mr. Jay Clark (Flight Mechanic) performed aircraft flight evaluations of the BMRST System from January 20-27, 2001. These aircraft flight tests utilized the Ohio University King Air C90 Aircraft, which was staged out of Patrick Air Force Base for flights over the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The BMRST Airborne segment was installed in the King Air, with cooperation from Honeywell, International and flown against the BMRST Ground Station. Approximately 20 hours of flight tests were flown in the King Air.

The aircraft flight tests were the first dynamic test of the BMRST System, and the Kodiak, Alaska launch was the first launch vehicle demonstration of the BMRST System.


  • "Launch of Quick Response Launch Vehicle" - download MPEG (800 KB) - currently unavailable


Avionics Engineering Center
Russ College of Engineering and Technology
131 McFarland Avionics Building
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701
Tel: (740) 593-1515

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