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.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




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>