Monday, July 12, 2010
ABSL Space Products awarded multi-million dollar contract for the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Longmont, CO. ABSL Space Products, the world leader in Lithium-ion batteries for space flight applications has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on June 14, 2010. The contract award is for the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), one of four NASA Solar Terrestrial Probes (STP) missions. The two-year MMS mission will employ four identical spacecraft designed to take unique measurements of the Earth’s magnetosphere in an effort to study magnetic reconnection, the phenomenon when energy from a magnetic field is converted to heat and kinetic energy in the form of charged particle acceleration. The spacecraft will orbit in a tightly controlled tetrahedral formation that will lead the way for other constellation-type missions. The MMS mission is scheduled to launch in August 2014.
Over the duration of a thirty nine month contract, ABSL will manage the design, fabrication, testing, and delivery of four integration and test batteries plus four space flight Lithium-ion batteries from its facility in Longmont, Colorado. ABSL’s MMS Lithium-ion battery design will build on the company’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) battery heritage. Each of the four rechargeable 68 Ah space flight batteries will power one of the MMS spacecraft during pre-launch, launch, and post-launch activities. Once in orbit, each battery will provide 28 V bus power for 4 hours, while the spacecraft are in the eclipse period of their elliptical orbit. It is projected there will be 900 charge/discharge cycles throughout the life of the mission. ABSL’s battery heritage technology is proven to produce the most reliable Lithium-ion batteries available for space flight with 63 spacecraft launched and over 26,000 cell years of space operation without failure.
ABSL’s highly specialized and dedicated team consistently meet the performance and mission requirements for all battery designs. “ABSL is proud to continue our strong relationship with NASA, through the MMS contract”, said Larry Suedmeier, ABSL Project Manager. “To be able to supply mission critical hardware to NASA for one of the STP missions is an incredible opportunity. It’s great to be part of a mission that will help to improve our understanding of space weather, and how it affects our daily lives.”