Boulder, Colorado. February 24, 2014. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has delivered four phased array antennas to Lockheed Martin and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the inaugural test flight of the Orion spacecraft.
The Ball-built antennas are the primary means of voice, data and video communications for the astronaut crew for the nation’s next generation spacecraft carrying astronauts beyond low Earth orbit and on long-duration, deep-space missions.
Phased array antennas are one of the key technology advancements incorporated into the spacecraft’s design,” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space and Technology business unit. “A phased array antenna electronically steers transmit and receive beams without physically moving the antenna array, which increases the antenna’s flexibility, responsiveness and capacity from launch through all flight operations and finally splashdown.”
The four phased array antennas are installed on the exterior of Orion, scheduled for its first mission in September 2014. Orion’s first voyage will send an uncrewed spacecraft 3,600 miles into Earth’s orbit.
“Ball has a rich history with NASA’s science missions that have greatly expanded our understanding of the cosmos, and Orion, NASA’s vehicle that will ultimately enable astronauts to explore the solar system, including asteroids, is an important complement to those missions,” added Oschmann.
Lockheed Martin is NASA’s prime contractor for Orion.
Source: Ball Aerospace Corp.