Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Industry and Business News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Northrop Grumman Awarded Patent For Innovative Payload Positioning System

Preparation for servicing SAFIR on this side of the moon. NASA's Orion/Crew Exploration Vehicle "stack" is shown just after rendezvous with SAFIR and prior to commencing servicing operations near an Earth-Moon libration point. [Design from the Future In-Space Operations working group and Jack Frassanito and Associate, courtesy of Harley Thronson].
by Staff Writers
Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Nov 07, 2007
The U.S. Patent Office recently awarded a patent to five Northrop Grumman engineers for a unique payload positioning boom that increases the ability of space telescopes to observe more of the sky while creating a variety of design, fuel and service efficiencies.

The patent was awarded to Charles Lillie, Terrestrial Planet Finder program manager and independent research and development (IRAD) manager; Dean Dailey, mechanical design engineer; Martin Flannery, optical design engineer; Allen Bronowicki, technical fellow; and Jon Arenberg, deputy systems engineer for James Webb Space Telescope. The work was funded by the company's IRAD initiative to develop design concepts for future space observatories, such as NASA's Single Aperture Far Infrared (SAFIR) telescope and Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) Coronagraph missions.

"We are extremely proud of this achievement that acknowledges the groundbreaking work of some of the best engineering minds in the world," said Alexis Livanos, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the company's Space Technology sector. "It is another outstanding example of our ability to provide innovative and efficient solutions for our customer and create technology that has wide utility for future civil space and defense applications."

The patented positioning boom is a long, gimbaled arm that attaches the payload to the spacecraft. The boom's flexibility allows the telescope a wider range of elevation angles, which more than doubles the area of observed sky. By isolating the telescope from spacecraft vibrations and heat, the boom improves telescope performance and enables the use of a smaller sunshield. The boom's ability to move the center of the satellite's mass minimizes fuel usage and tracking adjustments and increases observing efficiency. Servicing the telescope and upgrading instruments are also easier because the boom allows easier access to serviceable components.

"Everyone on the team worked very hard and made significant contributions to the success of this concept," noted Lillie. "We built on lessons learned from the James Webb Space Telescope design to create a more flexible method of mounting the payload on the spacecraft platform that would improve performance and facilitate servicing. The Hubble Space Telescope showed us the importance of updating the instruments, and we will be able to improve the performance of future space observatories by one to two orders of magnitude by installing new instrument technology as it becomes available."

The newly patented boom will have application on SAFIR, slated to launch between 2020 and 2025. A large cryogenic space telescope that resembles the Webb Telescope, SAFIR will provide unprecedented sensitivity in the range between infrared wavelengths probed with Webb telescope and microwave wavelengths observed by ground telescopes. SAFIR will explore the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the universe's distant past.

The boom will also have an application on TPF. TPF is envisioned as a suite of two complementary observatories: a coronagraph operating at visible wavelengths and a large-baseline interferometer operating in the infrared. It will study all aspects of planets outside our solar system and will allow atmospheric chemists and biologists to determine if a planet can support life.

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

ESA Transmits First-Ever Telecommands To Chinese Satellite
Paris, France (ESA) Nov 02, 2007
For the first time, ESA tracking stations have transmitted telecommands to a Chinese satellite. This morning at 07:15 CET (06:15 UTC), China's mission control reported that commands transmitted from Maspalomas station had been successfully received by the Chang'e-1 Moon mission.

  • Electricity Grid Could Become A Type Of Internet
  • Google revs up profits as advertising revenues soar
  • Internet preparing to go into outer space
  • US cities' Wi-Fi dreams fading fast

  • ESA To Provide Essential Launch Control Services To EUMETSAT
  • Skynet 5B Satellite Ready For Launch On 9th November
  • China May Use Long March 3 For Lunar Landing
  • Arianespace Prepares The Fifth And Sixth Ariane 5 For 2007 Launches

  • NASA sorry over air safety uproar
  • Airbus superjumbo makes first commercial flight
  • Airbus superjumbo takes off on first commercial flight
  • Solar Telescope Reaches 120,000 Feet On Jumbo-Jet-Sized Balloon

  • Space Command Striving For Improved Field Communications
  • Most Complex Silicon Phased Array Chip In The World
  • Lockheed Martin Completes Major Test Of First Advanced Military Communications Satellite
  • Raytheon Teams With Industry Best To Pursue Army Satellite Communications Program

  • Northrop Grumman Awarded Patent For Innovative Payload Positioning System
  • Boeing Demonstrates One-Button Start-Up Of Satellite Ground Station
  • ESA Transmits First-Ever Telecommands To Chinese Satellite
  • Revolution ahead in data storage, say IT wizards

  • Dr Mary Cleave Appointed To Board Of Directors Of Sigma Space
  • Northrop Grumman Appoints GPS And Military Space VPs
  • Boeing Names Scott Fancher Missile Defense Systems VP And GM
  • CNP Powers Up Advanced Technology Suite To Improve Selection Board Process

  • Vacation Photos Create 3D Models Of World Landmarks
  • NASA Data May Help Improve Estimates Of A Hurricane's Punch
  • DMCii Satellite Imaging Helps Dramatically Reduce Deforestation Of Amazon Basin
  • NASA Views Southern California Fires And Winds

  • Modernized GPS Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Declared Operational For Users Worldwide
  • Broad Reach Engineering GPS Receiver Launched On TerraSAR-X Mission
  • Russia Launches Proton Carrier Rocket After The Ban
  • EU's Galileo satnav scheme needs millions more next year: MEPs

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement