WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.–Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin to supply its LN-200S fiber-optic Inertial Measurement Unit for the LM 300 satellite bus.
The LN-200S is a small, lightweight navigational element that senses acceleration and angular motion, providing data outputs used by vehicle control systems for attitude control and guidance. The IMU is hermetically sealed and contains no moving parts, ensuring low noise, dependability and an extended shelf life.
“The LN-200S is a low cost, reliable IMU with significant space heritage,” said Bob Mehltretter, vice president, navigation and positioning systems business unit, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. “This IMU is especially ideal for the burgeoning small satellite market due to its affordability, small size, light weight and low power consumption.”
The LN-200S heritage can be traced back 20 years to its qualification for flight aboard the Clementine spacecraft. Since then, a wide range of space missions have depended on the IMU to provide reliable inertial data. The LN-200S has successfully performed on many spacecraft, including NASA’s Curiosity, Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, as well as satellites in geosynchronous and low Earth orbits. The Coriolis spacecraft, built by Orbital ATK and launched in January 2003 with two LN-200S IMUs, continues to perform its mission in low Earth orbit. The primary IMU has far exceeded its life expectancy and requirements by providing continuous data since launch — avoiding the need to utilize the backup LN-200S IMU on the spacecraft.