Space

September 6, 2012

Northrop Grumman aids navigation of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover

Northrop Grumman’s LN-200S inertial measurement unit is a critical navigational element that senses acceleration and angular motion, providing data outputs used by vehicle control systems for guidance. The company supplied the critical navigation element for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover.

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – Northrop Grumman supplied the navigation and pointing aid for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, which recently began a historic two-year exploration of Mars.

Northrop Grumman’s LN-200S is a lightweight, fiber-optic inertial measurement unit (IMU) that will help guide the Mars rover as it investigates the viability of microbial life on the planet – now or in the past.

The LN-200S is a critical navigational element that senses acceleration and angular motion, providing data outputs used by vehicle control systems for guidance. Additionally, the LN-200S helps position the rover’s antennae to relay photos and data to satellites.

“The reliability and outstanding performance-to-package size ratio of the LN-200 products make them ideally suited for mission-critical applications in a range of aerospace and defense applications,” said Gorik Hossepian, Northrop Grumman vice president of navigation and positioning systems. “This product has withstood challenging environmental conditions during numerous space missions, and this extends that legacy.”

NASA has a long tradition of utilizing Northrop Grumman’s LN-200 IMU product series on spacecraft, including the Spirit and Opportunity rovers that landed on Mars in 2004. NASA had planned for those rovers to last only 90 days, but Spirit persevered for six years and Opportunity is still functioning.

During the next two years, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover will investigate whether the planet’s environment has been favorable for supporting microbial life – now or in the past.

The commercial off-the-shelf LN-200 IMU series is available in multiple versatile configurations to meet unique customer needs for a variety of products and applications, ranging from torpedoes to image stabilization. Northrop Grumman supplies different models of the IMU to NASA for various programs, including advanced research and development as well as the Sounding Rockets program at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The Curiosity Mars rover carries the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on Mars’ surface. The rover is capable of traveling up to 200 meters (660 feet) per day and rolling over obstacles up to 65 centimeters (25 inches) high. Unlike earlier rovers, Curiosity is equipped to gather, process and distribute rock and soil samples to onboard test chambers.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

 




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


 
 

 
LM-C5

Lockheed Martin delivers 29th C-5M Super Galaxy

The 29th Lockheed Martin C-5M Super Galaxy takes off on its delivery flight.  Lockheed Martin delivered the 29th C-5M Super Galaxy to the U. S. Air Force July 28. A Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) aircrew ferried the...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph

NASA selects proposals to study neutron stars, black holes, more

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched in 2012, is an Explorer mission that allows astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. NASA has selected five proposals subm...
 
 

Northrop Grumman successfully delivers deformable mirror for world’s largest solar telescope

The world’s largest ground-based solar telescope is one step closer to operation with the acceptance of the deformable mirror engineered by AOA Xinetics, a Northrop Grumman company. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, currently under construction on Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii, will offer unprecedented high-resolution images of the sun using the latest...
 

 
Navy photograph

Surface-to-surface missile test for LCS successful

Navy photograph Three missiles from a ripple fire response strike their moving targets during an engineering development test of modified Longbow Hellfire missiles. The missile system, designated the Surface-to-Surface Missile ...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech  image

NASA’s Spitzer confirms closest rocky exoplanet

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This artist’s concept shows the silhouette of a rocky planet, dubbed HD 219134b. At 21 light-years away, the planet is the closest outside of our solar system that can be seen crossing, or transitin...
 
 

Raytheon appoints president, Integrated Defense Systems

Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy announced July 30 the appointment of Wesley D. Kremer as President, Integrated Defense Systems, effective immediately. Kremer, 50, previously served as vice president of the Air and Missile Defense Systems product line of Raytheon Missile Systems. He succeeds Daniel J. Crowley, who informed the company of his intention...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>