Lockheed Martin has delivered the core structure of a weather forecasting satellite to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for propulsion system integration work, the company said Monday.
The company’s space systems unit designed the structure for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite–R Series, aimed at enclosing the satellite’s propulsion system and supporting the payloads.
ATK’s space and components division, within the aerospace group, manufactured the structure.
Paula Hartley, program manager for GOES-R, said the first GOES-R series spacecraft is scheduled for 2015.
“Once the propulsion integration is complete, the structure will be mated to the GOES-R system module, which houses the satellite’s advanced instrumentation electronics and other critical subsystems, essentially forming the entire structure of the spacecraft.”
Stakeholders in the public and private sectors acquire data from NOAA’s GOES satellites for weather forecasts and warnings.
The company said spacecraft and instrument technology used on the GOES-R series is intended to focus on public safety, climate monitoring, space weather prediction, ecosystems management, commerce and transportation.
GOES-R contains composite panels made of aluminum honeycomb, which is located between graphite composite face sheets.
The company said the structure weighs 400 pounds and supports loads at around 95,000 pounds in the thrust direction, including 1.8 million in-pounds in a bending moment.
For the next 11 months, the team will integrate GOES-R’s fuel tanks, lines, thermal controls and other systems within the core structure.
In December 2008, NASA selected Lockheed to build two new GOES-R series spacecraft and the company holds options for two more spacecraft.
The system passed its critical design review in May 2012, marking a step allowing the team to enter the build and integration phase for the first R-series spacecraft.
Lockheed is also designing and building the solar ultraviolet imager and the geostationary lighting mapper instruments for the spacecraft.