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Behind the Scenes: Testing for Electromagnetic Interference on DART

(feat. Ken Watson)

Building a spacecraft requires the coordinated efforts of various teams and individuals who all play an important role in getting a mission off the ground. As NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) undergoes integration and testing at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, hear from various team members with diverse roles on the first ever planetary defense test mission.

DART’s electromagnetic compatibility and interference lead engineer Ken Watson develops requirements and tests to make sure the spacecraft’s many electronic systems will operate before and after launch. This work is critical because a spacecraft is not typically tested as a whole until right before launch or, sometimes, even after launch. It’s important for the team to identify any problems early on, so that nothing stops the spacecraft from collecting important science data.