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Mon, Dec 12, 2011

Ball Aerospace Delivers Antenna EDUs

Arrays Would Serve Needs On Orion Missions

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.



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