Lockheed Martin/Space Dynamics Laboratory Team Awarded Air Force Contract for ANGELS Nanosatellite Program

By Yvonne Polak
Space Dynamics Laboratory
August 3, 2006

North Logan, Utah—The Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL), a nonprofit division of the Utah State University Research Foundation, announced today that the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate, located at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM, has chosen the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) team to provide engineering design and development support for the Autonomous Nanosatellite Guardian Evaluating Local Space (ANGELS) satellite program. Under subcontract to Lockheed, SDL will advance the design of a small, autonomous nanosatellite through its Critical Design Review (CDR) to be held in August 2007.

Efforts under this subcontract will include detailed design and analyses to ensure that the ANGELS system can execute its mission within AFRL’s programmatic objectives and cost constraints. Following completion of the CDR, the Air Force will pursue a follow-on contract, under which SDL would lead the assembly, integration, and test of the demonstration spacecraft.

ANGELS will provide the Air Force with an innovative nanosatellite solution to provide independent, localized space situational awareness and anomaly characterization of a host satellite. A demonstration flight is scheduled for late 2008 or early 2009.

“We are pleased to be part of the Lockheed Martin Team,” said Harry Ames, SDL deputy director. “Our team has worked well together for nearly two years, with each member providing unique expertise. The result has been the design of a cost effective and highly capable ANGELS system that meets or exceeds the Air Force goals for the mission.”

Ames also emphasized that the ANGELS mission and team business model fit perfectly with SDL’s strategic goal for research and development of small, innovative, prototype and proto-flight satellites. “This is the next step for SDL in becoming a major presence in the exciting world of small, highly-capable satellites as a valued developmental partner, not a competitor, to larger organizations,” Ames said.

Under the leadership of LMSSC, ANGELS teammates include SDL; the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory of Cambridge, Mass.; Space Micro, Inc., of San Diego, Cal.; and Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Solutions (LMIS&S), Valley Forge, Penn.

“LMSSC has been working closely with SDL for more than two years on the ANGELS concept and design. We are excited to continue this relationship through to the completion and on-orbit demonstration of the ANGELS Mission,” said Stanley O. Kennedy, Jr., Senior Manager – Surveillance and Navigation at LMSSC.

SDL, a nonprofit research corporation owned by Utah State University, has over five decades of experience in developing innovative solutions for complex science and military sensing needs. SDL’s expertise includes ground-, air- and space-based IR, visible, and UV sensors; hyperspectral, polarimetric, and hypertemporal systems; small satellites and supporting technologies; rapid, experimental development of prototype hardware and associated software; concept validation studies and demonstrations; real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data compression, visualization, and exploitation systems; contamination control and stray light analysis; and cryogenic and thermal management systems. SDL is a recognized international leader in sensor system characterization and calibration, and hosts the Annual Conference on Characterization and Radiometric Calibration for Remote Sensing. Headquartered in a 200,000 ft2 research complex in North Logan, Utah, SDL also operates facilities in Bedford, Mass. and Washington, DC, and employs over 300 professional and technical personnel.