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.


 
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph by Alan Radecki

Second Northrop Grumman-built Triton UAS completes first flight

Northrop Grumman photograph by Alan Radecki The second MQ-4C Triton, built by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy, successfully completed its first flight Oct. 15 PALMDALE, Calif. – The U.S. Navy’s second MQ-4C Triton un...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Poland’s PIT-RADWAR signs letter of intent with Raytheon

Raytheon photograph Mike Shaughnessy, Vice President of Supply Chain, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and Jerzy Milosz, Member of Board and Director of R&D, PIT-RADWAR sign a letter of intent to explore further partners...
 
 

Raytheon to resume work on new electronic warfare planning management software program

The U.S. Army has directed Raytheon to resume work on an Electronic Warfare planning management software program that for the first time will give it automated tools to help plan and execute complex electronic warfare missions. The program restart follows a ruling by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which denied the protest filed by...
 

 

Northrop Grumman JCREW achieves milestone C; Program to enter production, deployment phase

Northrop Grumman has received Milestone C approval for its Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Increment 1 Build 1 (I1B1) system from the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command. The JCREW I1B1 system is a jammer that defeats devices used to trigger improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Northrop Grumman developed mounted, dismounted and fixed-site variants...
 
 

Radar delivery boosts United States’ ballistic missile protection

The U.S. just gained another defensive system that will help protect the U.S. and its allies from ballistic missiles. Raytheon delivered its tenth AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar to the Missile Defense Agency six months ahead of schedule. AN/TPY-2 is an integral element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System.  It is a mobile X-band radar...
 
 

Lockheed Martin pursuing compact nuclear fusion reactor concept

PALMDALE, Calif. – The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® team is working on a new compact fusion reactor that can be developed and deployed in as little as ten years. Currently, there are several patents pending that cover their approach. While fusion itself is not new, the Skunk Works has built on more than 60 years...
 




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>