Monday, October 13, 2008

Northrop Grumman's Reflector System Successfully Deploys Aboard Fourth Inmarsat Communications Satellite

Northrop Grumman's Reflector System Successfully Deploys Aboard Fourth Inmarsat Communications Satellite

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Oct. 13, 2008 - A deployable reflector system made by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) successfully deployed on-orbit Aug. 28 aboard the Inmarsat 4 F3 satellite.

The third in the Inmarsat 4 series, the telecommunications satellite completes the constellation, providing worldwide coverage for Inmarsat's Broadband Global Area Network, with the exception of polar regions.

Radio frequency testing has confirmed the reflector fully deployed as planned with the expected shape and angle. All three Inmarsat 4 spacecraft utilize nine-meter diameter (30 feet) AstroMesh unfurlable mesh reflectors and boom support systems designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman's Astro Aerospace business unit.

"This achievement underscores our commitment to reliable, space-deployable products," said Chris Yamada, general manager of Strategic Business Units, Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "AstroMesh reflectors are the only large aperture reflectors with a perfect on-orbit deployment record."

The reflector is a key part of the antenna system used by the spacecraft to provide broadband Internet communications. Enabled by the large reflector, the antenna system's sensitivity allows the use of mobile, laptop-size modems by users around the world. This recent deployment represents the seventh consecutive successful AstroMesh on-orbit deployment.

When fully commissioned, Inmarsat 4 F3 will be moved to its permanent geostationary orbit at 98 degrees west over the Americas. In addition to three nine-meter reflectors provided to EADS Astrium for the Inmarsat 4 program, Astro Aerospace has created five 12-meter (39 feet) AstroMesh reflectors for other space organizations.

Astro Aerospace, based in Carpinteria, Calif., is a business unit of Northrop Grumman Space Technology, a leader in the development of space, defense and electronics systems. For 50 years, Astro Aerospace has pioneered the technology of space deployable structures including AstroMesh furlable antennas and reflectors, truss masts, telescopic booms, storable tubular extendible members and planar array deployments. It has a 100 percent on-orbit deployment success rate on hundreds of flight-specific deployable units.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Technorati Tags:

No comments: