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Ball Aerospace Delivers Orion Phased Array Antenna EDUs
by Staff Writers
Boulder CO (SPX) Dec 08, 2011

Ball Aerospace has delivered two Phased Array Antenna EDUs for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle to Lockheed Martin. (PRNewsFoto/Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.)

Ball Aerospace and Technologies 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 development and delivery of these EDUs represents a significant milestone as NASA enters the next arena of human space flight," said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager of antenna and video technologies for Ball Aerospace.

"This milestone puts us on track to deliver the PAA flight units for integration into the Orion flight test vehicle that will be in production at Kennedy Space Center next year."

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.

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 has a long history in both phased array antenna experience and human spaceflight programs.

From the pioneering SEASAT satellite, to today's top-of-the line S-Band and Geodesic Dome Phased Array antennas, Ball is 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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