Orbital ATK Supports Successful Launch of USAF GPS Satellite Aboard ULA Atlas V Rocket
- GPS IIF-10 is the Second of Three GPS Satellites to be Launched for U.S. Air Force in 2015
Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, supplied products from multiple company locations across the United States that helped enable the successful launch of both the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V vehicle and the GPS satellite that was deployed today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The 10th GPS IIF satellite in the constellation will replace older, first-generation GPS satellites and provide improved accuracy, signal strength and quality to America’s warfighters, allies and civilian users worldwide. Boeing (NYSE: BA) designed and built the GPS IIF satellite for the U.S. Air Force.
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“The Atlas V and GPS programs encompass the scope and scale of Orbital ATK’s highly engineered products and affordable innovation,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “Both military and civilian GPS users around the world will benefit from increased capability as a result of our team’s collective dedication and execution excellence.”
The Orbital ATK components on both the Atlas V launch vehicle and GPS satellite utilize the latest technologies from multiple Orbital ATK facilities. These include large composite structures, retro motors, and state-of-the art solar arrays and other critical components on the GPS IIF satellite.
For the ULA Atlas V rocket, Orbital ATK produced the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield, which provides higher performance with lower weight, and essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle from engine exhaust temperatures in excess of 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Orbital ATK fabricated the assembly using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques at the company’s Iuka, Mississippi facility. This is the 55th Atlas V launch using Orbital ATK-built composite structures.
This launch also marked the 20th successful flight of Orbital ATK-produced retro motors. Eight of these solid motors supported separation of the spent first stage. The Atlas retrorocket is built at Orbital ATK’s facility in Elkton, Maryland.
- For the GPS IIF-10 satellite, Orbital ATK provided a host of products and services.
- Orbital ATK’s Goleta, California facility designed and manufactured the satellite solar arrays and a deployment boom. Orbital ATK has achieved 100 percent on-orbit success on all solar arrays and deployable systems delivered and launched to date.
- Orbital ATK’s San Diego, California facility manufactured the composite solar array substrates.
- Orbital ATK’s Commerce, California facility had responsibility for the ullage tank assembly, including the blankets, heaters, thermistors and pressurant lines. This tank is a spherical vessel constructed of titanium.
- Orbital ATK’s Beltsville, Maryland facility provided heat pipes for the GPS IIF equipment and radiator panels.
- Orbital ATK’s Rancho Bernardo, California facility performed final assembly and RF (Radio Frequency) testing of the antenna suite for GPS IIF between 2003 and 2010.
The Block IIF series provides improved accuracy, enhanced internal atomic clocks, better anti-jam resistance, a civil signal for commercial aviation and a longer design life. The GPS IIF-10 satellite provides space-based system global location and time information in all weather conditions.
Source : Orbital ATK, Inc. - view original press release