ATK provided critical hardware for both the second satellite in the Navy's Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), designated MUOS-2, and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V launch vehicle that launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
MUOS is the next generation in narrowband tactical satellite communications systems. The MUOS constellation, for which Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor, will provide mobile warfighters with significantly improved and secure communications.
"ATK's continued involvement in the successful Atlas V missions is a source of great pride to our workforce," said Joy de Lisser, vice president and general manager of ATK Aerospace Structures division. "Our ongoing support of ULA missions is a critical element of our business, and we are proud to provide tactical support for the U.S warfighter."
Using advanced fiber placement manufacturing and automated inspection techniques, ATK produced three components for the ULA Atlas V vehicle, including the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield that provides essential protection to the first stage engine, the Centaur Interstage Adapter (CISA) that houses the second stage engine, and the boattail that adapts from the core vehicle to the five-meter diameter fairing. The structures were fabricated by ATK at its Iuka, Miss., facility. This is the 39th Atlas V launch using ATK-built composite structures.
The Atlas V rocket flew in the 551 vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, five solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. ATK manufactured the Reaction Control System propellant tank for the Atlas V at its Commerce, Calif., facility.
This flight marked the fourth successful flight of the ATK retro motors. Eight of these solid motors supported separation of the spent first stage. The Atlas retrorocket is built at ATK's Elkton, Md., facility.
For the MUOS-2 satellite, ATK provided multiple components and structures:
- The spacecraft bus structure, multi-beam antenna support structure, antenna reflectors and tower structures, solar array substrates, yokes and booms were manufactured at ATK's San Diego, Calif., facility.
- ATK's Magna, Utah, facility manufactured five-meter and 14-meter antenna payload structures.
- The company's Goleta, Calif., facility manufactured the spacecraft's solar array hinges.
- The propellant and pressurant tanks for the spacecraft propulsion system were designed and manufactured at ATK's Commerce, Calif., facility.
- ATK's Beltsville, Md., facility provided the radiator panels and heat pipes.
The MUOS-2 is the second satellite in the MUOS system, which is scheduled to be a five-satellite, global constellation expected to be fully operational by 2015. MUOS satellites provide a 16x increase in number of accesses over the current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite system requirement.