Lockheed Martin releases open-source satellite interface for on-orbit docking

The technical design information for the Mission Augmentation Port can be utilized by satellite tv for pc producers

COLORADO SPRINGS – Lockheed Martin on April 4 launched the technical specs of a docking adapter that could possibly be utilized by producers to make satellites interoperable and simpler to replace on orbit with new know-how.

The technical information for the Mission Augmentation Port (MAP) can be utilized by designers to develop their very own docking adapters, stated Lockheed Martin.

The corporate used the MAP normal to design its personal docking gadget, referred to as Augmentation System Port Interface (ASPIN).

“With this know-how, we’re in a position to improve operational spacecraft on the pace of know-how,” stated Paul Pelley, senior director of superior packages at Lockheed Martin House. 

“Identical to USB was designed to standardize laptop connections, these paperwork are designed to standardize how spacecraft join to one another on orbit,” he stated. 

On-orbit satellite tv for pc servicing normally is related to refueling. That is only one side of life extension, Pelley stated. There may be additionally a have to hold satellites technologically updated, particularly massive geosynchronous spacecraft that keep in service for many years. A regular docking port interface may facilitate the insertion of recent processors, information storage gadgets or sensors, and a few satellite tv for pc elements could possibly be changed with new {hardware}.

“What Lockheed Martin is envisioning goes past ‘filling up the tank’ to increase mission life,” he stated.

Eric Brown, senior director of army area mission technique at Lockheed Martin, stated the corporate has examined the ASPIN adapter in simulations and plans to fly it to area to get it certified. “We’ve got a number of companions, each business and authorities, which are keen on taking that subsequent step,” Brown advised table4. 

He stated Lockheed Martin determined to develop the docking interface normal and launch it to fill a necessity within the trade. 

Many satellites which are in operation in the present day have 20 or 30-year outdated know-how and there’s no means to replace them in orbit, he stated. One reply to that drawback is to go to cheaper, smaller satellites which are extra disposable and launched extra continuously. However that resolution doesn’t work for everyone, Brown stated. 

Some missions require massive satellites that price a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars}, “and we nonetheless have to resolve that know-how refresh, these satellites are usually not disposable,” he stated. 

The imaginative and prescient that led to the MAP normal is that it may assist create an aftermarket area trade that doesn’t exist in the present day as a result of satellites are usually not serviceable like airplanes, he stated, In aerospace and protection, the aftermarket had created large alternatives for an entire ecosystem of corporations.

“House has suffered from probably not having an actionable aftermarket. And so by introducing the thought of satellite tv for pc augmentation and enhancements we will additionally carry within the upkeep, restore and overhaul kind of ecosystem that the air area has loved for years and years, and has launched numerous corporations into aerospace and protection.”

An area aftermarket “could possibly be helpful for Lockheed Martin but in addition helpful for quite a lot of new corporations that possibly aren’t ready to construct the subsequent technology of GPS however might be able to go and fly sensors that may increase a GPS automobile.”

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