ATK Closed Loop Software Test Milestone Accomplished
BELTSVILLE, MD . – ViviSat, the leading provider of in-orbit servicing, has opened the ATK Robotic Rendezvous and Proximity (RPO) testing facility to ViviSat clients at ATK’s Space Systems Division headquarters in Beltsville, MD. Tours of the facility for ViviSat clients began during the Satellite 2013 Conference that was held March 18-21st in Washington, D.C.
The recently opened RPO facility allows ViviSat and one of its parent companies, ATK, to demonstrate and verify critical enabling technologies for today’s more complicated space missions. The lab uses state of the art robotic and air-bearing testbeds to simulate satellite motion and facilitate hardware and software development and validation.
The development of technology for controlled approach and docking between spacecraft supports ViviSat’s Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV). The MEV, manufactured by ATK, is designed to dock with the orbiting satellite and serve as the propulsion and attitude control systems. This enables mission extension for satellites which have run out of maneuvering fuel yet still have healthy payload and power systems.
The ATK Space Systems Division completed two prototype docking mechanisms that will reinforce the MEV’s ongoing development. These prototypes demonstrate servicing capabilities to potential clients and will be used to validate contact dynamics and docking performance in the ATK RPO lab. ATK also recently completed initial testing of closed loop proximity operations, demonstrating the ability to track a simulated host satellite using a prototype visual sensor suite.
“The ATK Robotic RPO Lab demonstrates a substantial investment in retiring risk for ViviSat and its clients. The capability currently demonstrated is the first step in our plans to perform full six degree of freedom docking validation and qualification,” said Tom Wilson, Vice President and General Manager of ATK Space Systems Division.
“We demonstrated this closed loop capability to several clients and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. They see these developments as further validation that ViviSat is making key qualification milestones and demonstrating real capabilities to provide in-orbit servicing,” said Bryan McGuirk, Chief Operating Officer of ViviSat.
Further information about ViviSat can be found at the company’s website, http://www.vivisat.com
Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK and U.S. Space believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, they can give no assurance that their expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among these factors are: technical challenges associated with the development and performance of advanced space technologies and services, and assumptions regarding the development of commercial and governmental markets for in-orbit mission extension and operations protection. Neither ATK nor U.S. Space undertakes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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