Business

September 4, 2012

Aerojet Propulsion Systems to maneuver radiation belt storm probes

Aerojet announced Aug. 30 that United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V successfully lofted NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes on a two-year mission to explore the Van Allen belts.

Each RBSP relies on an Aerojet integrated propulsion system that will be used throughout the mission to position the satellites.

The Atlas V launching RBSP also used eight Aerojet retro-rockets to separate the Centaur upper stage from the Atlas, and 12 monopropellant hydrazine thrusters on the Centaur upper stage for roll, pitch, yaw and settling burns.

Aerojet’s RBSP propulsion systems use monopropellant hydrazine and each system includes three propellant tanks, eight Aerojet MR-103G 0.2 lbf thrusters, two Aerojet-built diode boxes, and a variety of other components including, tubing, thermal control and telemetry. The systems were designed, built, assembled and tested at Aerojet’s Redmond, Wash. facility and shipped to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in October 2010. JHU/APL and Aerojet also have added additional shielding to protect the satellites from the radiation they expect to experience during the mission.

“The Radiation Belt Storm Probes will essentially be in harm’s way as we seek to understand the dynamics of the high energy protons that can damage instruments and be a hazard to astronauts,” said Aerojet Vice President of Space and Launch Systems, Julie Van Kleeck. “Understanding the radiation belt environment and its variability has extremely important practical applications to spacecraft operations, spacecraft system design, mission planning and astronaut safety. The Aerojet team is confident our propulsion system will help deliver another mission success for NASA.”

The two RBSP spacecraft will operate in nearly identical eccentric orbits. The orbits cover the entire radiation belt region and the two spacecraft will lap each other several times over the course of the mission. The RBSP in situ measurements will compare the effects of various proposed mechanisms for charged particle acceleration and loss.

While it was once thought that the behavior of the radiation belts was well-understood, observations over the last decade have generated new questions about the physical processes involved in the enhancement and decay of the belts and in the formation of new ones.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
boeing-avianco

Boeing, Avianca celebrate delivery of airline’s first 787 Dreamliner

Boeing and Avianca have celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the Latin American carrier, helping the airline stay at the forefront of technology in the region. “The addition of the first Boeing 787-8 to...
 
 
boeing-boc-737

Boeing, BOC Aviation finalize order for two additional 737-800s

Boeing and BOC Aviation have finalized an order for two additional 737-800s, valued at $186 million at current list prices. The order is a part of the Singapore-based leasing company’s effort to grow its portfolio of fuel...
 
 

Northrop Grumman names chief compliance officer

Northrop Grumman has named Carl Hahn vice president, chief compliance officer, effective Jan. 15, 2015. Hahn is succeeding Judy Perry Martinez, who will be retiring, and will report to Sheila C. Cheston, corporate vice president and general counsel. “Carl brings to his role at Northrop Grumman a tremendous breadth of experience in global compliance, investigations...
 

 

GPS modernization advances as eighth Boeing GPS IIF becomes sctive

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. ñ The eighth Boeing Global Positioning System IIF satellite has completed on-orbit checkout and joined the active 31-satellite constellation, helping the U.S. Air Force continue modernizing the network that millions of people worldwide use. The Air Force and Boeing have now put four GPS-IIF satellites into service this year, adding to the...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>