CARPINTERIA, Calif., Sept. 29, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- The last AstroMesh reflector built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for the third and final satellite in the Inmarsat Limited I-4 series has been shipped for launch integration this fall.
The reflector is a key part of the antenna system used by the spacecraft to provide broadband Internet communications. Antenna sensitivity enabled by the large reflector allows the use of mobile, laptop-size modems by users anywhere in the selected coverage area.
The delivery to prime contractor EADS Astrium, Toulouse, France, capped several recent milestones on the I-4 satellite program. In particular, the AstroMesh reflector deployed March 25 on the first I-4 satellite has completed on-orbit testing of the satellite communications payload. Those tests verified that the reflector had indeed achieved its correct shape, pointing accuracy and passive intermodulation requirements, which eliminate interference from high-power transmissions.
"This success provides additional confidence in the remaining two AstroMesh reflectors," said Tom Romesser, vice president of technology development for Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "Our AstroMesh reflectors are helping Astrium and Inmarsat achieve their goals. We expect this success will lead to additional reflector programs in the near future."
Additionally, EADS Astrium and Astro Aerospace have completed final installation of the AstroMesh reflector on the second I-4 satellite, which is scheduled for launch later this year.
Astro Aerospace, based in Carpinteria, Calif., is a business unit of Northrop Grumman Space Technology, a leader in the development of space, defense and electronics systems. For more than 40 years, Astro Aerospace has pioneered the technology of space deployable structures including AstroMesh furlable antennas and reflectors, truss masts, telescopic booms, storable tubular extendible members and planar-array deployment. It has a 100 percent success rate on hundreds of flight-specific deployable units.
CONTACT: Pete Chase Northrop Grumman Space Technology (805) 684-6641, ext. 1805 firstname.lastname@example.org