Honeywell has announced that it has been selected to supply newly designed Inertial Measurement Units (IMU), used to accurately position satellites in orbit, for the United States Air Force (USAF) Global Positioning Satellite III Program, in a contract worth $45 million.
“Honeywell designed new IMUs to respond to the demands of today’s spacecraft with more reliable units that will extend satellite missions,” said Dave Douglass, Honeywell vice president, Space, Missiles and Munitions.
“The advanced technology IMU utilizes Honeywell’s solid state Fiber Optic Gyro technology to assure higher accuracy and longer life.”
The USAF Global Positioning System provides precise timing and positioning information for military and civil users. The GPS III system, scheduled to begin launching in 2014, will provide additional signals to improve accuracy as well as anti-jamming measures crucial for the U.S. military.
The new Honeywell IMU was developed for space applications that must survive harsh natural and man-made environments while providing extremely precise measurement capability and long mission life. This GPS III application represents the first in a family of IMUs developed by Honeywell targeted for the commercial and military market.
Honeywell was selected by Lockheed Martin Space Systems for the contract, which includes development and flight hardware for the first two satellites, with options for up to 10 additional satellites. The Honeywell IMU will be incorporated as part of the attitude control system. Delivery of the IMU development hardware is scheduled in 2011 with flight units delivered in 2012.
Honeywell’s proven space flight technology has made the company’s IMU product families the systems of choice for more than 300 commercial and military space programs.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Honeywell’s aerospace business is a leading global provider of integrated avionics, engines, systems and service solutions for aircraft manufacturers, airlines, business and general aviation, military, space and airport operations.