BOULDER, Colo., 18 Nov. 2012. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., will develop an S-Band phased array antenna for the next-generation U.S. Space Launch System (SLS) under terms of a NASA research contract.
The company will develop the prototype Ball Reliable Advanced Integrated Network (BRAIN) antenna to enable a sustained fast data downlink from launch through mission completion, Ball officials say.
The high-performance antenna will operate only for the seven-to-twelve minute period during launch when experts need video and telemetry information. Ball did not release the value of the contract.
“Ball’s antenna design and adaptability ensures that data will be maintained even in the event of a vehicle anomaly," says David Taylor, Ball Aerospace president and CEO.
The SLS will service the International Space Station, as well as provide new capability for human exploration beyond Earth orbit, NASA officials say. NASA is designing the SLS to be safe, affordable, and sustainable, and will take astronauts farther into space than ever before.
The SLS will be the most powerful rocket the U.S. has built since the Apollo-era Saturn V booster. This is Ball’s first contract win for the SLS.