Press Release

Ball Aerospace Delivers Orion Phased Array Antenna EDUs

By SpaceRef Editor
December 7, 2011
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Ball Aerospace Delivers Orion Phased Array Antenna EDUs

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has delivered two Phased Array Antenna (PAA) Engineering Development Units (EDUs) for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle to prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The PAA serves as a primary data and voice communication link for NASA astronauts across all mission phases from launch through flight operations and final capsule recovery. The EDUs are now undergoing testing at Lockheed Martin-Denver in preparation for subsystem Critical Design Review.

“The development and delivery of these EDUs represents a significant milestone as NASA enters the next arena of human space flight,” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager of antenna and video technologies for Ball Aerospace. “This milestone puts us on track to deliver the PAA flight units for integration into the Orion flight test vehicle that will be in production at Kennedy Space Center next year.”

The Orion PAA design leverages three dozen Ball Aerospace phased array designs delivered for space, airborne, ground and marine applications, as well as an additional 11 fixed beam array products delivered for space. This product meets requirements for both the service module and crew module applications, which minimizes design and production costs. As part of a methodical risk burn-down plan, Ball Aerospace previously built and tested a passive ten-element PAA brassboard and a thirteen-element active prototype that demonstrated array coupling, isolation and array efficiency across scan angles. Test results validated anticipated performance analysis and simulation. Ball Aerospace is the provider for Orion’s Vision Navigation System, flight cameras and star trackers.

Ball Aerospace has a long history in both phased array antenna experience and human spaceflight programs. From the pioneering SEASAT satellite, to today’s top-of-the line S-Band and Geodesic Dome Phased Array antennas, Ball is a proven industry leader in the application of advanced space, shipboard, aircraft and land-based phased array antenna systems. Ball has supported NASA’s human space flight activities since Gemini, through Apollo, Skylab and the Space Shuttle.

About the Lockheed Martin Orion Team:

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor to NASA for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the nation’s next generation spacecraft designed to carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit on long-duration, deep-space missions. Lockheed Martin leads the Orion industry team which includes major subcontractors as well as a nationwide network of minor subcontractors and small businesses. In addition, Lockheed Martin contracts with hundreds of small and disadvantaged business suppliers across the United States through an expansive supply chain network. Visit for more information.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications. For more information visit

Ball Corporation (BLL: NYSE) is a supplier of high-quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2010 sales of more than $7.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.