SSL awarded next phase of Laser Communications
Hosted Payload accommodation toward flight readiness
PALO ALTO, CA, Nov. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today highlighted its role in supporting NASA's initiative to benefit
from the commercial space industry. Two NASA programs, which recently
reached important milestones, benefited from commercial technology
contribution from SSL.
SSL provided the propulsion system for NASA's Lunar Atmosphere Dust
Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, which is managed by NASA's
Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and currently is
orbiting the moon. Additionally, SSL was awarded the next phase of
hosted payload accommodation development for the Laser Communications
Relay Demonstration (LCRD), which recently completed the important
Preliminary Design Review (PDR) process.
"SSL congratulates the NASA Ames LADEE team on its tremendous successes,
which included perfect insertion into lunar orbit," said John Celli, president of SSL. "We'd also like to congratulate the team from NASA
Goddard on its record setting demonstration of two-way laser
communications as well as completing its LCRD design review."
The LADEE spacecraft depended on the SSL-built propulsion system to
reach its lunar orbit on Oct. 12. In its LADEE updates, NASA stated that the Lunar Insertion Maneuver was "very accurate, and
required no course adjustments." The update continued to say, "this is
impressive performance of the propulsion system..."
The propulsion system is based on the mission critical system used over
many years on the geostationary satellites that SSL builds for
television, radio, broadband internet, meteorology and a host of other
services. There are currently 74 SSL-built satellites operating in
geosynchronous orbit today that use a similar propulsion architecture.
"SSL has been an important part of the team that created the LADEE
spacecraft," said Butler Hine, LADEE Project Manager at NASA Ames
Research Center. "The commercial experience that SSL brought to the
team really enabled an innovative approach for LADEE."
The LADEE spacecraft carries the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration
(LLCD) on board, designed, built, and operated by MIT's Lincoln
Laboratory which recently set a record for transmitting data from the
moon to Earth. The test demonstrated high data rate communications
that have the potential to transform communications from outer space.
This successful demonstration is a vital precursor to a more
comprehensive and enduring demonstration that will be facilitated by
SSL partnered with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to place a Laser
Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD), as a hosted payload, on a
commercial satellite to be built by SSL. Sponsored by NASA's Space
Technology Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations
Mission Directorate, LCRD is a technology demonstration that combines
commercial and government developments. By hosting the LCRD payload on
a commercial communications satellite built by SSL, this demonstration
will be an enduring test bed that helps transition optical
communications technology into operation. The LCRD project recently
completed its PDR on Nov. 1, and SSL was given the authorization to
finalize the design for accommodating the payload on its 1300 satellite bus.
As the optical modules and ground stations for LCRD are being developed,
SSL is working with its commercial customers to identify an appropriate
host satellite for the demonstration. Laser communications technology
is expected to provide next generation capability for NASA exploration
missions and it may also hold significant benefits for future
commercial satellite communications.
"SSL's performance on the LCRD payload accommodation has met all of our
accommodation criteria and exceeded all of our expectations," said Mike
Weiss, LCRD Project Manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
"Companies with a commercial space focus, such as SSL, are helping NASA
to reduce costs and maximize benefits while we continue to implement
game-changing new technologies."
SSL has a long history of delivering reliable satellites and spacecraft
systems for commercial and government customers around the world. As
the world's leading provider of commercial satellites, the company
works closely with satellite operators to provide spacecraft for a
broad range of services including television and radio distribution,
digital audio radio, broadband Internet, and mobile communications.
Billions of people around the world depend on SSL satellites every day.
For more information, visit www.sslmda.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements and information,
which reflect the current view of Space Systems/Loral (SSL) with
respect to future events and financial performance. When used in this
news release, the words "believes", "expects", "plans", "may", "will",
"would", "could", "should", "anticipates", "estimates", "project",
"intend" or "outlook" or other variations of these words or other
similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements
and information. Actual results may differ materially from the
expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as
a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Known risks and
uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with
operating satellites and providing satellite services, including
satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit
failures or impaired satellite performance; risks associated with
satellite manufacturing, including competition, cyclicality of SSL's
end-user markets, contractual risks, creditworthiness of customers,
performance of suppliers and management of SSL's factory and personnel;
risk associated with financial factors such as volatility in exchange
rates, increases in interest rates, restrictions on access to capital,
and swings in global financial markets; risks associated with domestic
and foreign government regulation, including export controls and
economic sanctions; and other risks, including litigation. The
foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information
contained in this news release reflects SSL's beliefs, assumptions,
intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release.
Except as required by law, SSL disclaims any obligation or undertaking
to update or revise the information herein.
For further information:
Media Contact: Wendy Lewis
+1 (650) 852-5188