NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Ball Aerospace complete on-orbit Orion MPCV navigation system test during STS-134 shuttle mission

Posted by Courtney E. Howard

DENVER, 31 May 2011. Commander Mark Kelly completed the first Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) approach to the International Space Station on May 30 at 3:24 a.m. CDT as part of the Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation (STORRM). The flight test marked the first in-flight collaboration of NASA's three human spaceflight programs--space shuttle, International Space Station, and Orion MPCV--and verified the operation of the MPCV's next-generation docking sensor. The sensor is designed to make rendezvous and docking maneuvers safer for future spacecraft, and it has been identified by NASA officials as a critical technology for future space-exploration missions. The NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Ball Aerospace team worked with STS-134 Mission Specialist Andrew Feustel to complete the on-orbit test of the system. 


"This flight test demonstrated the exceptional capability of the Vision Navigation Sensor (VNS) and the Docking Camera, two key components of the Orion relative navigation system," says Catherine Boone, Ph.D., the Lockheed Martin electro-optics engineer who was working in NASA's Mission Control Center during the re-rendezvous event. "We were able to collect about 600 gigabytes of data that will verify the design meets the high-performance standards required for Orion MPCV and other future spacecraft. Follow-on testing at our Space Operations Simulation Center in Denver will also provide an opportunity to look at how we may be able to expand on that performance to make the system as powerful and accurate as possible for the dynamic environments of deep-space exploration missions."

"This test exercised the Orion relative navigation sensors exactly as they will be flown on future human space exploration vehicles," explains Jeanette Domber, Ph.D., senior payloads system engineer and Ball's lead for STORRM. "This mission provided NASA a one-of-a-kind opportunity to prove out the performance of this technology in a real spaceflight environment."

STORRM boasts a relative navigation design providing the required docking accuracy and range capability necessary to meet crew safety, mass, volume, and power requirements for future NASA missions, including those in deep space. The STORRM hardware components include: a high-definition docking camera, the advanced laser-based VNS, an avionics assembly to provide power and record data, a space-certified laptop computer, and reflective docking targets installed on the space station during STS-131.

STORRM's VNS provided continuous measurements from up to three-and-a-half miles to within six feet of the space station, or roughly three times the range capability of the current relative navigation sensor. The next-generation sensor technology also provided three-dimensional (3D) images of the docking target. The new technology also has earth-bound applications for military operations, terrain mapping, robotics, and transportation, including collision avoidance systems.

STORRM technology development was led by NASA's Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Project Office at NASA Johnson Space Center in partnership with NASA Langley Research Center, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Lockheed Martin leads the Orion MPCV industry team.

 


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


The Innovation That Matters™ Quiz

Innovation is one of the key drivers in the Defense industry. View this short video of Darryl McKenney, VP, Engineering Services at Mercury Systems, on the role of innovation. Then, answer 3 simple questions correctly to be entered into a drawing to win an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TWO MOST RECENT WINNERS. Mark from L-3 Communications and Barry from General Dynamics.


Featured Slideshow

Evolution of the American soldier

The American soldier has come a long way since the beginning of the Republic 237 years ago. While uniforms for early soldiers were based on cost and utility, soldiers' clothing eventually considered ballistic protection, increasing storage space, protection from poison gas and other contaminants.

Related Products

SBC-K7 Embedded PC for Instrumentation and Control

The SBC-K7 is an ideal platform for embedded instrumentation that combines an Atom PC running Win...

PC/104 SBC and Peripherals

Kontron PC/104 Standalone Single Board Computers (SBCs) serve in every format, even with consiste...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of DSP and data ac...

Kontron

Driving the world’s embedded computing platforms Kontron is a global leader in embedded computing technology.&n...

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the
Wire News provided by   

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

On Demand Webcasts

Engineering the VPX high-speed data path for physical and signal integrity

Join Arrow Electronics and TE Connectivity, for an overview webinar of the standards, technologies and trends involving VITA and TE.

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

social activity

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE