Press Release

Sanders and Space Electronics-Led Team Study Satellite Servicing in Space

By SpaceRef Editor
November 2, 2000
Filed under

Sanders, a Lockheed
Martin Company, has received a 14-month, $6 million award from the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to conduct an
Advanced Technology Demonstration for a new Space Operations
Architecture called “Orbital Express.”

DARPA’s Orbital Express program is designed to provide a
cost-effective, autonomous capability for on-orbit pre-planned
electronics and hardware upgrades, satellite refueling and
reconfiguration of spacecraft components to support a broad range of
future U.S. national security, civil and commercial space programs.

The effort will be led by an integrated team between Sanders and
Lockheed Martin Space Electronics & Communications, Manassas, Va.
Other team members include Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver,
Colo., Space Systems/Loral, Palo Alto, Calif., Charles Stark Draper
Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., and Moog, East Aurora, N.Y.

During Phase I, the concept definition phase, the team will
analyze and identify the cost effectiveness of satellite servicing
under the DARPA proposal for a number of military and commercial
missions, and base its analysis on simple, standard interfaces and
inexpensive launch approaches. Key components of the Orbital Express
architecture include a space-based robot vehicle called Autonomous
Space Transfer and Robotic Orbiter (ASTRO). The robot will service
satellites within a specified range of orbital inclinations and
altitudes. Another key component will be the NEXTSat which is
representative of a next-generation class of satellites designed to be
serviced by the ASTRO.

During Phase II, a preliminary design will be developed for a
demonstration system to show how the ASTRO will provide service to the
NEXTSat. The winner of the demonstration system design should be
announced in 2002 and the demonstration spacecraft is scheduled to be
launched in 2004. The Sanders team is one of three competing to win
the Advanced Technology Demonstration.

Sanders is an operating company of the Lockheed Martin
Corporation, and a major producer of aircraft self-protection systems
and tactical surveillance and intelligence systems for all branches of
the armed forces. Other major business areas include microwave,
mission and space electronics; infrared imaging; and automated mission
planning systems.

Lockheed Martin Space Electronics & Communications, Manassas, Va.,
is a premier systems integrator, providing advanced electronic
systems, information systems, and technology products and services to
U.S. defense and federal civilian agencies as well as commercial and
international customers.

Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is a global
enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development,
manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products
and services. The Corporation’s core businesses are systems
integration, space, aeronautics, and technology services.

For additional information about Sanders, A Lockheed Martin
Company, visit “What’s News” at:

SpaceRef staff editor.