Curtiss-Wright radiation-tolerant space telemetry chosen for European Vega-C space launch rocket
ASHBURN, Va. – Spacecraft rocket designers at ELV SpA in Rome needed a radiation-tolerant COTS-based telemetry data system for the European Space Agency's Vega-C expendable space launch rocket. They found their solution from the Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions segment in Ashburn, Va.
ELV SpA is the prime contractor on the Vega-C rocket and GPM Development and Qualification Program for the European Space Agency (ESA). The telemetry system is based on the Curtiss-Wright radiation tolerant Smart Backplane technology.
The mid-sized Vega-C is designed to deliver cost-sensitive government, commercial, and science payloads weighing three tons or less, such as small satellite constellations to low-Earth orbit. ESA officials want the next-generation Vega-C launcher to support the same or greater mission objectives as the original Vega launcher, but at reduced cost.
Curtiss-Wright will provide ELV SpA with a full telemetry system, including data acquisition, data handling, and RF transmission. Curtiss-Wright will develop and manufacture the telemetry system for Vega-C at its facilities in Dublin, Ireland.
The Vega-C development contract runs from January 2017 until first launch in June 2019, with a value estimated at $5 million. The value of the subsequent production phase could be worth as much as $10 million over the lifetime of the program, Curtiss Wright officials say.
“Our unique Smart Backplane technology enables radiation-tolerant electronics to be used in many applications across many market sectors, allowing lower-cost COTS [commercial off-the-shelf] modules to be reliably used in harsh space environments," says Lynn Bamford, senior vice president and general manager of Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.
ESA’s requirement for Vega-C flights include a minimum of three launches per year, with expected demand for at least four per year, Curtiss-Wright officials say.
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