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Space Products - ABSL Space Products Awarded James Webb Space Telescope Satellite Lithium-Ion Battery Contract Back to Articles
READING, Pa., Septemeber 24, 2012 -- EnerSys® (NYSE: ENS), the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, announced that its Longmont, Colorado-based ABSL Space Products (ABSL) business has been awarded the James Webb Space Telescope Lithium-ion battery contract.
ABSL was selected by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. [NYSE: NOC] to design, fabricate, test, and deliver Lithium-ion batteries for NASA’s Webb telescope. The batteries will build on ABSL’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) and Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) battery heritage to provide vital power that Webb will need during its peak power functions and mission life.
The Webb telescope is an infrared space observatory utilizing lightweight optics and a deployable sunshield to expand on the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope. The onboard instruments will detect infrared light that glowed 13.5 billion years ago when the first galaxies formed. Webb is scheduled to launch in 2018 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). Webb will be stationed in an elliptical orbit around the second Lagrange (L2) point. It will take the Webb spacecraft roughly 30 days to reach the start of its orbit at L2, which is 1.5 million kilometers (nearly a million miles) from earth. After about six months of commissioning in space after launch, Webb’s science mission will last for at least 5 years.
“ABSL is excited to be working with Northrop Grumman on this long- awaited space telescope, which will make a significant contribution to scientific discovery,” said Richard W. Zuidema, Executive Vice President, EnerSys. “ABSL’s relationship with Northrop began in 2009 with the battery contract for the Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) program and we are proud to be providing a key component to this monumental mission.”
ABSL’s Lithium-ion battery is designed for a minimum of 18,000 orbital charge/discharge cycles and will fully encompass the thermal and shock/vibration requirements the Webb program will demand. In addition, the Webb battery will utilize the Sony 18650 hard carbon cell with the improved mandrel safety device. ABSL batteries have powered 85 spacecraft with 50,000 cell years of space operation without failure, proving ABSL’s battery heritage and technology produces the most reliable Lithium-ion batteries available for space flight.
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