Moog Plays Key Role in Launch of Orbcomm Second Generation Satellites
14 July 2014
Moog Inc. (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B) Space and Defense Group provided critical hardware and services to prime Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) for the launch of six ORBCOMM (Nasdaq: ORBC) Generation 2 (OG2) satellites. The satellites were manufactured by SNC at their facility in Louisville, Colorado. The launch took place on July 14, 2014 from Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
The six spacecraft, and the remaining 11 to be launched later this year, include a complete Moog propulsion system. Both launches rely on a modular Satellite Dispenser built on multiple Moog EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) rings. The Dispenser protects the entire payload “stack” from launch vehicle vibrations and shock using a Moog SoftRide vibration isolation system. In addition, Moog provided the Dispenser electrical harness and performed the integration of the Dispenser/spacecraft assembly at the SpaceX CCAFS facility.
The complete Moog propulsion system is based on the Moog MONARC line of thrusters. This line of thrusters has been successfully providing attitude control and station-keeping for spacecraft, missile defense, and upper stage applications since 1971 with over 450 of this variant delivered out of 3,000 plus for the entire product line.
The propulsion system uses a Moog Rolling Metal Diaphragm (RMD) propellant tank. The aluminum RMD tank line was originally designed for missile defense applications requiring precise center of gravity and slosh control but has since been adapted for spacecraft applications. This industry unique tank provides a low-cost, short lead time alternative to conventional titanium propellant tanks.
Moog designed and fabricated the propulsion module to be a “bolt on” system minimizing the integration and test time at the spacecraft level. This modular propulsion system design can easily be modified for other applications.
The Moog ESPA, first launched in 2007, has enabled missions from low-Earth orbit (LEO) to the Moon and established standards for secondary payloads, and spawning the standard of “ESPA class” spacecraft. This versatile design can be used for Ride Share opportunities, multiple payload launches as with OG2, a modular spacecraft structural bus as with LCROSS, or the platform for a “free flyer” as for the Air Force EAGLE program. ESPA has literally enabled missions from Low Earth Orbit to the Moon.
The Moog SoftRide system has flown over 30 times since 1998 on ten different launch vehicles, isolating spacecraft and payloads from the rough launch vibration, shock, and structure-borne acoustic environment associated with the launch. The SoftRide system allows the spacecraft design to be focused on the mission and not the first several minutes of the launch.
Moog engineers and technicians supported SNC during factory integration and test in addition to performing launch site integration of the spacecraft to the ESPA/SoftRide Dispenser. Hardware is currently being manufactured for the second OG2 mission, which will complete the constellation.
Moog Inc. is a worldwide designer, manufacturer, and integrator of precision control components and systems. Moog’s high-performance systems control military and commercial aircraft, satellites and space vehicles, launch vehicles, missiles, automated industrial machinery, wind energy, marine and medical equipment. Additional information about the company can be found at www.moog.com. Additional information about Moog’s Space Sector can be found atwww.moog.com/space.