CTA to Provide First Earth System Science Pathfinder Spacecraft
CTAST, whose facilities are located in McLean, Va., has developed more than 30 small spacecraft for government and commercial customers. CTAST will design and build the VCL spacecraft bus and integrate the multibeam LIDAR instrument. The spacecraft bus is based on two CTAST spacecraft, the commercial EarlyBird remote sensing satellite and NASA's SSTI Clark technology demonstration satellite. In meeting the need for a low cost, high performance spacecraft CTAST used the existing EarlyBird design. Its performance was enhanced by VCL by using state-of-the-art technologies from SSTI Clark, including the attitude control system and other components. CTAST's extensive experience with low cost spacecraft and short program schedules results in a very low risk spacecraft bus for the VCL mission.
The spacecraft with instrument will weigh 290 kg (638 lbs.) at launch and includes enough fuel to maintain its 400 km (249 mi.) altitude orbit for more than two years. The spacecraft is powered by a 3.1 square meter (33.4 square feet) solar array consisting of two deployed wings, which produce more than 350 watts of power. Each wing is steered to keep it pointed toward the sun while the spacecraft points the instrument toward the Earth. The spacecraft collects instrument data and stores it in a solid-state recorder; the data is delivered each day to a ground station via a high speed data link. The spacecraft operates autonomously from command loads sent twice a week.
CTA Space and Telecommunications Company (CTAST) is a subsidiary of CTA INCORPORATED, a company of more than 1,200 employees and 1996 revenue of $180 million. CTA Space and Telecommunications Company is a world leader in manufacturing small satellite systems. CTAST has built and launched 27 lightsats, and currently has seven more in production or test with imaging, telecommunications and research payloads. The company provides spacecraft system design, hardware, software, test, and flight operations support to Goddard Space Flight Center's Small Explorer Program, Space Shuttle Small Payloads Project and Spartan Shuttle Missions. CTA also builds satellite command and control ground systems, meteorological satellite data ingest systems, airborne and air-dropped remote sensor systems, and communications systems.
SOURCE CTA INCORPORATED
/CONTACT: Dave Johnson of CTA, 301-816-1477/
CO: CTA Space and Telecommunications ST: Maryland IN: ARO TLS SU:
JN-JA -- DCTU012 -- 7026 03/25/97 14:06 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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|Date:||Mar 25, 1997|
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