Ball Aerospace Wins Ares Flight Computer Contract
April 01, 2009
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has been selected by The Boeing Company as the contractor for the Ares I Instrument Unit Assembly (IUA) Flight Computer (FC) and Command Telemetry Computer (CTC).
Ball Aerospace will employ its Common Computing Architecture for the IUA to build three flight computers that operate synchronously, and two command telemetry computers per Ares I flight. The synchronous operation of the flight computers provides the fault tolerance necessary to ensure astronaut safety. The computers are the "brains" of the rocket, and will control and monitor the flight of the Ares I rocket following liftoff and until separation of the second stage.
"Ball Aerospace has supported NASA's human space flight activities since Gemini, through Apollo, Skylab, and the Space Shuttle," said David L. Taylor, Ball Aerospace president and CEO. "We are proud to continue that legacy by providing hardware for Ares I, supporting Boeing in enabling NASA's next generation of more capable Exploration vehicles."
The Ball Aerospace computers for the IUA are based on its mature, space-proven flight computing and human-rated avionics expertise. The high-reliability design applies Ball's system engineering expertise to deliver a safe, fault-tolerant product at a price that supports the low life cycle costs that enable the Ares I program. Ball has applied the same rigor and discipline to the Ares I FC and CTC that has enabled the company's 53-year safety and performance record. Ball Aerospace is the sole source for human-rated star trackers for the space shuttle program, and Ball's mechanical components, cryogenics and optical systems fly aboard every space shuttle mission.
Ares I is the crew launch vehicle being developed by NASA to launch Orion, the next spacecraft designed for human spaceflight missions following retirement of the space shuttle program in 2010.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of national importance for agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications. Since 1956, Ball Aerospace has been responsible for numerous technological and scientific 'firsts' and is a technology innovator in aerospace.
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