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Satellite Antenna Aids Nuclear Arms Control

By | November 13, 2006

      Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] delivered all V-Sensor deployable antenna assemblies that will be used to detect nuclear blasts, the company reported.

      The antennas are an adjunct payload on the Global Positioning Satellite 2F program.

      Northrop Astro Aerospace in the summer completed manufacturing and testing six qualification units and 18 flight units of its V-Sensor deployable antenna assemblies and recently delivered them to its customer, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the company reported last week.

      The pop-up antennas are an example of the Astro Aerospace Storable Tubular Extendible Member (STEM) product line, which can be stowed in compact packages for launch and then opened in orbit.

      About the size of a pack of cigarettes, these STEM antennas deploy to a length of almost seven feet. They permit detection of electromagnetic pulses as part of nuclear arms control.

      Antenna assemblies will be integrated on the next generation of GPS satellites by the prime contractor, The Boeing Co. [BA]. Astro Aerospace also produced antennas for GPS 2R for a similar application.

      “Space deployable structures are critical technologies that are vital to the success of many national security programs,” said Tom Romesser, vice president of technology development for Northrop Grumman Space Technology sector.

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