March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This is the connecting collar for the antenna for the first of a series of LOw Frequency Trans-Ionospheric (LOFTI) radio satellites. LOFTI satellites were one of the first satellites intended to study the propagation of low frequency radio waves through and in the ionosphere as well as through water, to penetrate reliably enough to be used for communications with submerged submarines. LOFTI-1 was launched on a Thor-Able rocket in 1961. The scheduled separation from the Transit-3B satellite to which it was attached failed. Much valuable data on VLF and VHF transionospheric transmission was obtained in spite of the satellite's resulting shortened time in orbit.
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory transferred this object to the Museum in 1975.
Transferred from the Naval Research Laboratory