Northrop Grumman wins contract to provide LN-200S for Lockheed Martin’s Satellite Bus

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Leading defence contractor Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin to supply its LN-200S fibre-optic Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for the LM 300 Satellite bus.

Image credit: Northrop Grumman

“The LN-200S is a low cost, reliable IMU with significant space heritage,” said Bob Mehltretter, vice president, navigation and positioning systems business unit, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.

“This IMU is especially ideal for the burgeoning small satellite market due to its affordability, small size, light weight and low power consumption.”

The LN-200S is a small, hermetically sealed lightweight navigational element that senses acceleration and angular motion and provides data outputs used by vehicle control systems for attitude control and guidance.

The space heritage of this navigational element – which contains no moving parts, ensuring low noise, dependability and an extended shelf life – can be traced back 20 years to its qualification for flight aboard the Clementine spacecraft.

Subsequently, the LN-200S was adopted in a wide range of space missions that depended on it to provide reliable inertial data.

“The LN-200S has successfully performed on many spacecraft, including NASA’s Curiosity, Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, as well as satellites in geosynchronous and low Earth orbits,” the company stated.

“The Coriolis spacecraft, built by Orbital ATK and launched in January 2003 with two LN-200S IMUs, continues to perform its mission in low Earth orbit. The primary IMU has far exceeded its life expectancy and requirements by providing continuous data since launch — avoiding the need to utilise the backup LN-200S IMU on the spacecraft.”