Ball Aerospace Builds Cryogenic Flight Electronics for NASA Webb Telescope

ball areospaceBall Aerospace and Technologies Corp. has delivered cryogenic flight electronic boxes to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Northrop Grumman for installation on the James Webb Space Telescope.

The flight electronics aim to work in collocation with the telescope’s 18 hexagonal primary mirror segments at temperatures as low as negative 405.4 degrees to capture infrared light, Ball Aerospace said Thursday.

Each mirror segment requires a set of cryogenic actuators for controlling a mirror’s position and curvature radius within a microscopic width, the company said.

Ball Aerospace demonstrated the components in a cryogenic and a radiation environment in order to develop 22 cryogenic flight electronics boxes that work to transmit signals from the warm control electronics to one actuator.

The electronic boxes also work to control the secondary mirror segment, backplane wing, secondary mirror structure latches and Webb’s deployable tower.

NASA plans to launch the Webb telescope in 2018.

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