Honeywell sensor helps fly NASA spacecraft

Scientists at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston needed a Global Positioning System (GPS) for spacecraft navigation. The Space Integrated Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS/INS) from Honeywell Space Systems in Clearwater, Fla., met NASA`s standards for space flight performance for launch and return vehicle requirements.

Sep 1st, 1998

Scientists at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston needed a Global Positioning System (GPS) for spacecraft navigation. The Space Integrated Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS/INS) from Honeywell Space Systems in Clearwater, Fla., met NASA`s standards for space flight performance for launch and return vehicle requirements.

Honeywell experts developed the Space Integrated GPS/INS (SIGI) under a NASA contract awarded in late 1996. Since then, SIGI has flown experimentally on three Space Shuttle missions to the Russian Space Station Mir; the most recent was onboard STS-89 in January 1998.

"We used it to replace the mechanized gyro MMU and GPS receiver on the shuttle," says Mike Brieden, program manager for SIGI at NASA. "It has lower power, lower weight, and less maintenance."

"We know it has lower maintenance through the assessment of Honeywell`s data and their low maintenance cost," Brieden says. "They`ve offered us a very low price through 2002."

The JSC contract specifies Honeywell`s SIGI as a common navigator for the Shuttle, International Space Station, Crew Return Vehicle, and future NASA space vehicles.

The Honeywell SIGI is a derivative of a Honeywell high-volume production navigation system used on high-performance military tactical aircraft, self-propelled howitzers and commercial mining equipment. Using this military/commercial off-the-shelf approach, Honeywell is able to offer NASA an advanced navigator at a cost that is significantly less than traditional development programs, company officials claim. SIGI provides three navigation solutions: pure GPS, pure INS, and blended GPS/INS. - J.M.

For more information on the Space Integrated GPS/INS or Honeywell contact Paul Griscti by phone at 813-539-2350, by mail at Honeywell Inc. Space Systems, 13350 U.S. Highway 19 North, Clearwater, Fla. 33764-7290, by e-mail at pgriscti@ space.honeywell.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.honeywell.com.

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