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December 9th, 2014

Into Mars Orbit Goes Cobham Motion Control Solutions

[SatNews] Cobham products are now orbiting Mars on the MAVEN Satellite (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN).

Artistic rendition of NASA's MAVEN satellite orbiting Mars.

Image courtesy of NASA.

Based on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey spacecraft designs, MAVEN will study the atmosphere of Mars
and its interactions with the solar wind. Specifically, MAVEN instruments will study  the Martian upper atmosphere, ionosphere and atmospheric interaction with the sun and solar wind.

Cobham’s Motion Control Solutions (formerly Aeroflex Motion Control Solutions) business unit provided the Two-Axis Motor and gimbal Electronics (TAME) for the Articulated Payload Platform. The motors, resolvers and controller were dormant for the 10 month cruise to Mars, and were powered-up after Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) in September. After completion of on orbit diagnostic testing, the platform has performed flawlessly using the TAME system.

The TAME assembly incorporates Cobham’s Motion Control zero cogging motors, which in conjunction with the Motion Control provided controller, minimizes torque ripple and jitter. This highly successful motor/controller combination is ideal for multiple low jitter, high accuracy pointing spaceflight applications. Cobham Semiconductor Solutions (formerly Aeroflex Microelectronic Solutions –HiRel) QML integrated circuits were utilized throughout the MAVEN. These included a broad range of component solutions including FPGAs, used to hold custom logic, Logic, used to control data flow, and a one-time programmable memory device (PROM) that holds 256K bits of user defined information.

For additional information, please visit http://ams.aeroflex.com/motion/micro-motion-prods.cfm