ITT Exelis (McLean, Va.) has been awarded a contract by Orbital Sciences Corp. (Dulles, Va.) to manufacture, assemble, test and deliver three composite-based bus structures for its GEOStar-3 communications satellite platform. In addition, Exelis will provide technical services and support.
The bus structure is a part of the satellite that carries and provides electrical power for the payload along with the propulsion system that keeps the satellite in orbit. It also houses equipment that provides for telemetry and tracking control.
“Through our contract with Orbital, Exelis has an option to work on two additional bus structures. With unit one scheduled for delivery in late 2013, we are working to ensure we deliver the best possible product,” says Joe Phillips, director of precision structures for Exelis. “Leveraging over 25 years of space and ground-based composite expertise, Exelis has a track record of delivering highly engineered composite structures which can perform under the most extreme operating environments and enhance system performance.” Work will be performed in Rochester, N.Y.
Orbital’s vice president of supply chain management Barry Johnson says, "Orbital is excited to initiate the production of our new GEOStar-3 satellite platform and enter into a long-term relationship with Exelis. We look forward to strengthening this partnership as we expand our capabilities in the commercial satellite communications arena."
Composite structures is a strategic focus area for Exelis in broad-based government and commercial solutions, such as aero, ground and space-based composite structures. Work is being driven by increased demand for composite parts on space-based programs, and military and commercial aircraft. Exelis has a proven track record of fabricating composite components for hundreds of space programs, including Chandra, CrIS, the James Webb Space Telescope, GeoEye, and more. Exelis also provides composite structures and assemblies for aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning II, the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter, several Boeing 7-series jets and GE engines.