Northrop Grumman, ATK complete flight backplane section of NASA's Webb Telescope

Webb

WASHINGTON, 25 April 2012. Engineers at Northrop Grumman Corp. in Redondo Beach, Calif., and ATK in Magna, Utah, have completed the center section of the backplane structure that will fly on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.

Construction of the center section marks an important milestone in the telescope's hardware development. The backplane supports the telescope's beryllium mirrors, instruments, and thermal control systems.

Northrop Grumman won a contract from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to design and develop Webb's sunshield, telescope, and spacecraft. ATK manufactured 1,781 composite parts for the center section using lightweight graphite materials and advanced manufacturing techniques, says a company representative.


"Completing the center section of the backplane is an important step in completing the sophisticated telescope structure," explains Lee Feinberg, optical telescope element manager for the Webb telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "This fabrication success is the result of innovative engineering dating back to the technology demonstration phase of the program."

The center section is the primary mirror backplane support structure and the first of the three sections of the backplane to be completed. The center segment will hold Webb's 18-segment, 21-foot-diameter primary mirror virtually motionless. Measuring approximately 24 by 12 feet and weighing 500 pounds, the center section of the backplane meets thermal stability requirements.

The backplane holds the alignment of the telescope's optics through the rigors of launch and over a wide range of operating temperatures, which reach as cold as -406 degrees Fahrenheit. During science operations, the backplane precisely keeps the 18 primary mirror segments in place, permitting the mirrors to form a single shape to take sharp images.

The Webb telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency.


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


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

Silicones

Master Bond’s silicones are available in both one part and two part versions that offer the advan...

Epoxies

Master Bond offers an extensive range of one and two part epoxies for a variety of applications a...

Light Curing Systems

Master Bond offers a large family of light curing products that cure upon exposure to a UV or LED...

Related Companies

Master Bond

For over 35 years, Master Bond has been supplying aerospace and defense manufacturers with custom formulated compound...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

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:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
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

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
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