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.


 
 

 

Headlines August 18, 2014

News: U.S. mission in Iraq could expand, Pentagon official says - The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government, a Pentagon spokesman said Aug. 19.   Business: Fuel deals top...
 
 

News Briefs August 20, 2014

Trials complete on fourth Coast Guard cutter Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has completed acceptance sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter, Hamilton. Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager, tells The Mississippi Press) the Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered next month and commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, South...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval

Air Force, Army Aviation come together to complete vital mission in Egypt

Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval Soldiers and airmen load a UH-60 Black Hawk into an Air Force C17 Globemaster III Aug. 19, 2104, at an old Israeli airstrip in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The airstrip is now used by the M...
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden

Joint effort validates ability to move Stryker vehicles via air

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden An Army Stryker combat vehicle is guided into a C-17 Globemaster III during a 25th Infantry Division training exercise Aug. 13, 2014, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Str...
 
 
NASA image

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA image Satellites observed the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006. Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. NASA research show...
 
 

F-16V completes major capability milestone

The newest configuration of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-16V, has reached a major capability milestone with the integration of a new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Completing this milestone on schedule demonstrates our ability to meet program commitments, said Roderick McLean, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed...
 




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>