The ground breaking Orbital Express, consisting of two satellites (ASTRO & NextSat), is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and was launched on March 8, 2007 from Kennedy Space Center. Northrop Grumman is the team member responsible for the design, development, production and operational support for the fluid transfer systems and the propulsion system on the Orbital Express satellites. These unmanned spacecraft have successfully demonstrated docking, inspecting, and servicing of satellites. The Northrop Grumman Space Technology Servicing Interface Electronics assemblies, each containing several EI PBGA modules, comprise the complete set of processing, routing and control hardware and software that performed as the primary electronic interface (communication, control, and telemetry) for the fluid transfer system with the ASTRO and NextSat vehicles.
EI assisted Northrop Grumman�s Space Technology sector based in Redondo Beach, CA, with the transition from ceramic to wire bond PBGA substrates, which provide superior performance in thin profile, light weight packages.
�The task of the electronic package is to connect individual die or multiple semiconductors to printed circuit boards,� explains Kim Blackwell, Microelectronics Packaging Product Manager at EI. �This ASIC provides microcontroller functions and specified the assembly of a large quantity of electronic packages to the printed circuit board, which results in a very heavy board when traditional ceramic materials are used. Transitioning to EI�s wire bond PBGA organic materials, packed more computing power into a smaller space and significantly reduced overall assembled board weight, translating directly into launch benefits.�
About Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.