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Curtiss-Wright Controls Awarded Contract By Alenia Aermacchi
by Staff Writers
Charlotte NC (SPX) May 10, 2012


The ESA's IXV mission represents a significant entry into European space programs for Curtiss-Wright Controls' Avionics and Electronics (CWC-AE) division. The IXV program will be the first use of CWC-AE data acquisition technology by a European space customer in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Curtiss-Wright Controls has announced that it has received a contract from Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A. to supply rugged data acquisition subsystems for use in the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV). Under the contract, Curtiss-Wright Controls will supply Alenia Aermacchi with its Acra KAM-500, Acra PCM recorder and Acra network switch for the re-entry vehicle data handling and telemetry subsystem.

The Curtiss- Wright Controls Avionics and Electronics (CWC-AE) division's data acquisition, networking and recording products will enable the IXV mission to acquire data to test new re-entry vehicle technologies.

The contract for the design and implementation phases of the program is valued at $3 million. Shipments of qualified spaceflight hardware for the IXV mission will be completed in 2012. The IXV industrial team is developing proposals for follow on missions that utilize a fully re-useable variant of the IXV.

"We are very pleased that Alenia Aermacchi selected our rugged, mission-critical data acquisition and recording technology for use in this exciting new low-Earth orbiting re-entry vehicle," said David Adams, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

"The use of our products on the IXV represents the first adoption of a cost- effective high performance commercial off the shelf (COTS) Ethernet network solution for a re-entry vehicle space mission by the European Space Agency."

The ESA's IXV mission represents a significant entry into European space programs for Curtiss-Wright Controls' Avionics and Electronics (CWC-AE) division. The IXV program will be the first use of CWC-AE data acquisition technology by a European space customer in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The selection of the company's COTS hardware in a LEO space mission opens significant commercial opportunities to exploit the CWC- AE heritage of innovation and quality in space-based applications.

The opportunities for data acquisition subsystems in new re-useable space vehicles are increasing rapidly, as alternative designs to replace the U.S. Space Shuttle program's manned missions in LEO are being developed. NEWS RELEASE

The ESA's IXV is designed to be the 'intermediate' element of a technology-effective and cost-efficient European program for in-flight verification of technologies necessary for future operational systems for re-entry vehicles.

IXV is scheduled to be launched in 2014 from Europe's spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, using the new Vega small launch vehicle. After re-entering the Earth's atmosphere and being slowed down by air drag, IXV will descend by parachute and land in the Pacific Ocean to await recovery and post- flight analysis.

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