Business

November 20, 2013

ATK’s autonomous flight safety assembly makes first flight

ATK propulsion, composite and spacecraft technologies supported the Nov. 19 successful launch of an Orbital Sciences Minotaur I vehicle from Wallops Island, Va.

The Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space-3 mission marked the 11th launch of a Minotaur I vehicle. ORS-3 is the first of three flights planned to certify the integrated flight safety assembly for the Autonomous Flight Safety System.

Breaking away from the traditional approach to launch vehicle flight safety, AFSS uses onboard sensors to provide autonomous decision-making with regards to vehicle errant behavior. The use of AFSS is expected to save money by reducing ground-based flight safety infrastructure and to enhance operational response with quicker turnaround for follow-on launches.

“The ORS-3 flight marks an important milestone towards the development and implementation of AFSS as the range safety system of the future,” said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager of ATK Missile Products division. “Safety is at the core of what ATK provides, and we are excited to work with the government and deliver this innovative technology to the space industry.”

The ORS-3 Mission, also known as the Enabler Mission, will demonstrate launch and range improvements to include: automated vehicle trajectory targeting, range safety planning, and flight termination; employ a commercial-like procurement with FAA certification of a Minotaur 1; and launch the Air Force’s Space Test Program Satellite-3 and 28 CubeSats on an Integrated Payload Stack. These enablers not only focus on the ability to execute a rapid call up mission, they reduce engineering hours from months to days resulting in decreased mission costs.

The integrated AFSS assembly was developed at ATK facilities in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.; Plymouth, Minn.; and Promontory, Utah, and is expected to significantly reduce the cost and complexity of launch operations. NASA and the U.S. Air Force provided the Mission Rules Algorithm for the AFSS software.

The AFSS program was initiated in 2009 with funding from Office of the Secretary of Defense Test Resources Management Center under the High Speed Systems Test thrust area. AFSS is currently being funded by the ORS office.

In addition to AFSS, ATK provided a host of products to support this launch:

  • The Orion 50XL and Orion 38 motors that served as Minotaur’s third and fourth stages, respectively, were manufactured at ATK’s Salt Lake City facility. This event marks the 80th mission supported with Orion motors. In addition to being used on Orbital Minotaur space launch vehicles for the U.S. Air Force’s Orbital/Suborbital program, Orion motors are also used on Orbital’s highly successful Taurus XLÆ, Pegasus XLÆ and a variety of vehicles for Missile Defense Agency.
  • ATK’s Clearfield, Utah, facility produced the Orion 50-inch and 38-inch diameter composite cases and raceways for the third and fourth stage motors and the composite interstage that joins the two. ATK’s Flexseal assemblies enable the rocket motor nozzles to change the angle of thrust for steering control.
  • ATK provided three Planar Unfolding Modular Array (PUMA) solar array wings and supporting products for STPSat-3, the primary satellite aboard the Minotaur launch vehicle. Built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., STPSat-3 is the second flight of the Space Test Program-Standard Interface Vehicle, a common spacecraft bus for small technology demonstration and military research missions. ATK’s PUMA arrays, which are manufactured in Goleta, Calif., demonstrate low non-recurring engineering cost, low risk, ease of satellite implementation, and 100-percent flight success performance on more than 50 solar array wings on-orbit.



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


 
 

 

Headlines January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 

 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 




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>