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AeroAstro Awarded Space Test Program Satellite Contract

Herndon - Dec 19, 2001
AeroAstro is developing the DoD Space Test Program (STP) Satellite Mission 1 (STPSat-1) for the Air Force Space Command, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

The STPSat-1 mission was awarded to AeroAstro following a competitive procurement under Program Research and Development Announcement (PRDA)-01-20 issued by SMC Detachment 12, Kirtland AFB NM.

Under the terms of the contract, AeroAstro is responsible for spacecraft design and fabrication, integration of four Government-provided experiments, space vehicle testing, launch vehicle integration support and testing, launch and early orbit operations support, and one year of post-launch mission operations support.

The satellite is planned for launch in FY05/06 on a Delta-IV Medium Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) using the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring. A one-year mission is baselined.

"We are extremely pleased with this award," stated Dr. Rick Fleeter, President of AeroAstro. "Using small satellites for complex, important missions is a logical continuation of the microspace evolution we have pursued since 1988.

"We recognize and appreciate the special responsibility STP has entrusted to us in providing them with a space vehicle that fully accomplishes the multiple flight objectives of the manifested payloads."

The STPSat-1 space vehicle will fully support the STP payload suite of experiments with performance that meets or exceeds the mission objectives of each payload. The spacecraft design was based on low-risk design solutions and heritage components in an innovative configuration to meet the unique challenges of the STPSat-1 mission.

Mr. Robert Meurer, AeroAstro's Space Systems Business Director, said, "The selection of AeroAstro is an endorsement of the strength and capabilities of our program team, which includes Northrop Grumman/TASC, Avidyne, Inc. and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The award of STPSat-1 is a significant milestone in our strategic plan to re-establish AeroAstro in its leadership position in the U.S. small satellite market."

AeroAstro, a pioneer of small, micro, and nanospacecraft applications in science, remote sensing and communications, led the trend towards high technology in miniature satellites. It has designed and launched a number of small satellites including the highly successful ALEXIS satellite for the Department of Energy, which is currently in its ninth year of continuous operations on orbit.

AeroAstro currently has three other spacecraft and numerous space hardware products in development. AeroAstro provides systems engineering, RF communications, attitude control, microprocessor and other hardware and software systems for many Earth orbit and interplanetary programs. NASA, the Air Force, and commercial and university customers all have employed AeroAstro throughout its 13-year history.

TASC will support the AeroAstro team in the areas of system engineering, risk management, quality assurance, senior technical advisory support, and on-site interface with the STP Program Office in Albuquerque, NM.

TASC is a leading provider of comprehensive solutions in the global space systems market, leveraging information technology, superior systems engineering, analytic methods, and world-class people. They have a long, successful history of supporting DoD space programs such as the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, National Security Space Architect, and Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Avidyne will support the AeroAstro team in the area of attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) development. They will contribute to the requirements definition, overall architecture development, detailed ADCS design and simulation, coding of the ADCS flight software, subsystem integration and test, system-level integration and test, and on-orbit checkout.

Avidyne has the capability to develop and analyze the full spectrum of aircraft and spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control systems, simulations, and embedded flight software. Principals Mark Krebs and Dr. Paul Stoltz together have held primary responsibility for flight control systems used successfully on over a dozen aircraft, rockets, spacecraft, and interceptor missiles.

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Surrey-built PICOSat launched for US Air Force
Guildford - Oct 1, 2001
PICOSat, a 67kg microsatellite developed for the US Air Force (USAF) Space Test Program (STP) by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in the UK, was launched successfully from Alaska on 30th September.

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