Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. reports it has delivered
two Phased Array Antenna (PAA) Engineering Development Units (EDUs)
for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle to prime contractor
Lockheed Martin. The PAA serves as a primary data and voice
communication link for NASA astronauts across all mission phases
from launch through flight operations and final capsule recovery.
The EDUs are now undergoing testing at Lockheed Martin-Denver in
preparation for subsystem Critical Design Review.
The Orion PAA design leverages three dozen Ball Aerospace phased
array designs delivered for space, airborne, ground and marine
applications, as well as an additional 11 fixed beam array products
delivered for space. This product meets requirements for both the
service module and crew module applications, which minimizes design
and production costs.
As part of a methodical risk burn-down plan, Ball Aerospace
previously built and tested a passive ten-element PAA brassboard
and a thirteen-element active prototype that demonstrated array
coupling, isolation and array efficiency across scan angles.
The company says test results validated anticipated performance
analysis and simulation. Ball Aerospace is the provider for Orion's
Vision Navigation System, flight cameras and star trackers.
Ball Aerospace describes itself as a proven industry leader in
the application of advanced space, shipboard, aircraft and
land-based phased array antenna systems. Ball has supported NASA's
human space flight activities since Gemini, through Apollo, Skylab
and the Space Shuttle.