Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has partnered with the University of Florida to develop and launch five miniature satellites to test innovative new space solutions. Building on the corporation's 50-year legacy of space exploration, Lockheed Martin will fund $450,000 of research and development projects at the university in 2009. Photo from SatMagazine January 2009 FEATURE: Cubesats - How Small Can Satellites Get? by Michael Thomsen
Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services and the University of Florida will use these satellites to investigate technological advances such as miniaturized, space-hardened GPS electronics and state-of-the-art intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. Lockheed Martin will also perform payload data analysis for these satellite missions.
The satellites, called CubeSats, are built in the shape of a cube, measuring 10 centimeters (less than four inches) on each side. They operate on a power output similar to a cell phone and weigh less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). CubeSats can be built and launched relatively inexpensively and in a matter of months, compared to more sophisticated satellites that weigh thousands of pounds and cost millions of dollars to develop and launch.
"We are pleased to partner with the University of Florida to continue exploring space technology with their students and academic staff," said Bill Graham, president of Lockheed Martin's Enterprise Integration Group.
"The University of Florida is looking forward to working with Lockheed Martin," said Dr. David P. Norton, Associate Dean for the College of Engineering's Research and Graduate Programs. "This relationship not only creates exciting new opportunities for our faculty and students, but it provides a robust conduit for applying Lockheed Martin's systems integration expertise for an emerging technology."
The university's principal investigator on this project is Dr. Gloria J. Wiens, director of the Space, Automation and Manufacturing Mechanisms Laboratory, and her co-investigators Drs. Janise McNair and Anil Rao.