iXSpace, an iXBlue company, has been awarded by Astrium, part of EADS, a contract to supply four of its Fiber iXSpace, Fiber Optical sensors for the ASTRIX² 120 inertial measurement units (IMU).
Based on iXBlue’s technology and developed in cooperation with EADS Astrium for the space applications, the 4 gyros Axis that will be integrated within Astrium Astrix² IMU, will be provided to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Colorado, USA as Prime contractor of the NASA Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) spacecraft. JPSS-1 forms the civilian element of what began life as the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS – now separated into distinct civilian and defense programmes) and will be used to make weather and climate observations. It is due to be launched in 2016.
Sébastien Ferrand, Project Manager, iXSpace, said, "We have sold more than 80 gyros Axis, over the past 6 years. However, these are the first units that Astrium will supply to a US customer. Assured performance, a short lead time and a growing record in this type of application helped us to penetrate this important market. We are very keen to build on this success in the future."
iXSpace co-developed with Astrium the ASTRIX² family over several years of close collaboration with the support of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA). All Astrix² IMUs, Astrium Products, have iXSpace gyros Axis inside based on iXBlue’s fiber optic gyroscope technology.
ASTRIX² IMUs are to be found aboard ESA’s Planck satellite, designed to study the origins of the Universe and launched in 2009, the two ESA Galileo GPS satellites successfully launched in October this year, and the two ESA Pleiades Earth observation satellites, one of which has been launched in December 2011 and the other one should be launched in 2012.
Date: Feb 1, 2012