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Curtiss-Wright Introduces Space Industry's First Low-Cost COTS Module for Measuring Microgravity Acceleration

February 16, 2017 | BY: John Wranovics

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New KAD/ADC/128 Microgravity Accelerometer Module delivers the performance of costly custom solutions at a fraction of the price

ASHBURN, Va. – February 16, 2017 -- Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division today introduced the space industry’s first COTS-based solution for measuring microgravity acceleration. Previously, the measurement of microgravity acceleration has required costly custom-designed electronic systems. What’s more, the high cost of these solutions has encouraged the sharing of this capability by multiple users on-board the microgravity platform, leading to backups and delays for users who desire timely access to the microgravity measurement system. Because of its cost-effective COTS design, the new KAD/ADC/128 module significantly lowers the cost and improves the performance of microgravity acceleration measurement systems.

Microgravity acceleration measurements enable the analysis of small forces, vibrations and accelerations that result from the operation of hardware, crew activities, and maneuvering during the operation of a space platform. Designed for use in Curtiss-Wright’s Space COTS KAM-500 data acquisition system, the module delivers the same measurement performance as a custom system at just a fraction of the price. Because it’s an integrated part of the user system, the KAD/ADC/128 also eliminates access bottlenecks and scheduling conflicts caused by sharing the capability among multiple users. The rugged module is ideal for microgravity acceleration environment and atmospheric monitoring, and structural vibration monitoring on parabolic aircraft, sub-orbital vehicles, sounding rockets, orbiting space platforms and other microgravity experiment platforms.

“Our unique KAD/ADC/128 microgravity measurement module extends our commitment to bringing the many benefits of commercial-off-the-shelf electronics to space flight,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “This low cost, high performance data acquisition system is a perfect example of how COTS technology can help platform designers lower the cost of space platforms and speed up development schedules with lower risk without compromising capabilities.”

Leading the Industry in Bringing COTS to Space Applications

Curtiss-Wright is a leader in bringing the benefits of COTS products to the space industry. Space COTS electronics can significantly reduce cost, development time and risk through the use of an extensive library of intellectual property and decades of rugged system design experience. Curtiss-Wright has experience on a wide range of missions and with leading space organizations and companies around the world, including Boeing, SpaceX, NASA, ESA, Scaled Composites, ULA, Airbus DS, CIRA, Sierra Nevada and Rocketlab. Based on open architecture modular COTS hardware, Curtiss-Wright’s Acra KAM-500 has a long heritage in space applications including experimental aircraft, launchers, re-entry vehicles and orbital platforms.

The KAD/ADC/128 module is integrated with the Space COTS KAM-500 data acquisition system and can these can be further integrated with Curtiss-Wright network and recording products to provide a complete solution. Curtiss-Wright develops and manufactures the KAD/ADC/128 module and the KAM-500 data acquisition system at its facilities in Dublin, Ireland.

For more information on Curtiss-Wright experience in space programs, please visit www.curtisswrightds.com/space.

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,400 people worldwide. For more information, visit www.curtisswright.com.

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Author’s Biography

John Wranovics

Director of Public Relations

John Wranovics has over thirty years experience in the management of media relations and the promotion of high technology products. He has been with Curtiss-Wright since 2003. He has a degree in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

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