The Ball-built antennas are the primary means of voice, data and video communications for the astronaut crew for the nation’s next generation spacecraft carrying astronauts beyond low Earth orbit and on long-duration, deep-space missions.
“Phased array antennas are one of the key technology advancements incorporated into the spacecraft’s design,´ said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space and Technology business unit. “A phased array antenna electronically steers transmit and receive beams without physically moving the antenna array, which increases the antenna’s flexibility, responsiveness and capacity from launch through all flight operations and finally splashdown.”
The four antennas are installed on the exterior of Orion, scheduled for its first mission in September. Orion’s first voyage will send an uncrewed spacecraft 3,600 miles into Earth’s orbit.
Lockheed Martin is NASA’s prime contractor for Orion.