8th February 2017
Curtiss-Wright selected by ELV to provide Cost-Effective Telemetry System for the European Space Agency’s New Vega-C Launcher
Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division today announced that its Ireland-based facility has been selected by Italy’s ELV SpA (Avio Group), the prime contractor on the Vega-C Launcher System and GPM Development and Qualification Program for the European Space Agency (ESA), to provide a COTS-based telemetry data system for the new launcher.
At €4.5M, this is the largest ESA related contract ever awarded to an Irish based operation. The confidence placed in Curtiss-Wright by the award of this contract establishes the Dublin operation as one of the world leaders in the use of COTS electronics equipment in critical space applications and raises the profile of Ireland’s space industry in the global space marketplace.
The announcement was made during a visit to Curtiss-Wright’s Dublin facility by John Halligan T.D. Minister for Training and Skills, where he congratulated the team involved saying; “This is a significant achievement by an Irish based operation working at the cutting edge of space technologies. This contract award demonstrates how Irish operations, such as Curtiss-Wright’s facility in Dublin, are developing technologies to the highest levels of performance and reliability for the European space program. These technologies have the potential to lead to increased sales in the global market and the creation of high value jobs in Irish operations in line with the Government’s strategy for Ireland’s membership of ESA.”
The mid-sized Vega-C is designed to deliver government, commercial and science payloads weighing three tons or less, such as small satellite constellations to low-earth orbit. As this market is especially cost-sensitive, ESA’s goal is for the Vega-C launcher to serve as a next-generation launch vehicle that is able to support the same or greater mission objectives as the original Vega launcher, but at reduced cost. Curtiss-Wright’s cost-effective COTS electronics systems approach was selected to support this challenging performance/cost target.
This agreement represents the first use of Curtiss-Wright’s groundbreaking radiation tolerant Smart Backplane technology on a European launch vehicle. Under the contract, Curtiss-Wright will provide ELV with a full telemetry system, including data acquisition, data handling, and RF transmission. The Vega-C development contract runs from January 2017 until first launch in June 2019, with a value estimated at €4.5 million. The value of the subsequent production phase is estimated at more than €10 million over the lifetime of the program.
“We are very excited about being selected by ELV to provide our cost-effective Space COTS telemetry system for use on the Vega-C, especially as this is our first avionics design win on a European launcher,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “Our unique Smart Backplane technology enables radiation tolerant electronics to be used in many applications across many market sectors, allowing lower cost COTS modules to be reliably used in harsh space environments.”
The Vega-C rocket will be launched from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. ESA’s requirement for Vega-C flights include a nominal of three launches per year, with expected demand for at least four per year. Curtiss-Wright will develop and manufacture the telemetry system for Vega-C at its facilities in Dublin, Ireland.
Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programs of ESA is coordinated by Enterprise Ireland in collaboration with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Additional EI client companies that will support Curtiss-Wright as sub-suppliers on this program include Schivo and Realtime Technologies
About Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,400 people worldwide. For more information on Curtiss-Wright’s experience in space programs, please visit www.curtisswrightds.com/space.
The European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities. Today it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. www.esa.int
Enterprise Ireland, managing Ireland’s membership of the European Space Agency
Enterprise Ireland co-ordinates Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The purpose of Ireland’s membership of ESA is to participate in European space programmes with a focus on facilitating innovative Irish operations to develop leading edge space technologies and to commercially exploit their ESA participation in global space and non-space markets, leading to increased export sales and employment. Enterprise Ireland’s role in relation to ESA is to assist Irish operations to successfully bid for ESA contracts, providing expertise for Irish operations and researchers in developing and executing space strategies, as well as being a point of reference for the international space industry when they want to identify relevant sources of space-related expertise within Ireland. Irish industrial and research participation in ESA covers a range of sectors and technology areas including; software, precision mechanical engineering, telecommunications, electronics, optoelectronics and advanced materials and extending to end user equipment, services and applications.
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