Press Release

Exclusive Northrop Grumman Resonating Gyro Achieves 10 Million Operating Hours in Space

By SpaceRef Editor
May 19, 2008
Filed under , ,

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC) patented hemispherical resonating gyro (HRG) technology recently surpassed 10 million hours of continuous service in support of myriad commercial and military space applications dating back to February of 1996.

ADVERTISEMENT The gyros are critical components of inertial navigation systems that enable the stabilization, tracking and attitude control of satellites and spacecraft.

“Northrop Grumman’s HRG is a high accuracy, extremely reliable gyro that has experienced no mission failures. It combines high performance with the longest life of any inertial technology now in space,” said Gorik Hossepian, vice president of Navigation and Positioning Systems for Northrop Grumman’s Navigation Systems Division. “It has no moving parts and its simple design, small size, low noise output and high radiation tolerance make it an ideal gyro for extended space missions.”

Installed in Northrop Grumman’s space qualified inertial reference systems, the HRG with its thin-walled quartz shell sensing element has been used in over 90 space missions. Applications include commercial, military and civil/scientific programs for domestic and international customers.

Based on scientific observations over 200 years ago on a “ringing” wineglass, this technology was first used on the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission, the first of NASA’s Discovery missions and the first mission ever to place a spacecraft into orbit around an asteroid.

The newest product employing HRG technology is Northrop Grumman’s scalable space inertial reference unit (Scalable SIRU). The Scalable SIRU was instrumental in achieving the scientific objectives of the highly successful MESSENGER and Deep Impact program missions.

The Scalable SIRU and its predecessor, the space inertial reference unit (SIRU), supply critical angular rate and linear acceleration data for use in satellites and spacecraft for stabilization, tracking and attitude control.

Northrop Grumman has experience in development and support of all current production gyro technologies. Besides its exclusive hemispheric resonator gyro, it produces spinning mass gyros, ring laser gyros, its unique ZLG gyros, fiber-optic gyros and micro-electro-mechanical-system gyros.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

SpaceRef staff editor.