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Curtiss-Wright Selected by ELV to Provide Cost-Effective Telemetry System for the European Space Agency's New Vega-C Launcher

February 08, 2017 | BY: John Wranovics

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Curtiss-Wright will provide its Smart Backplane radiation tolerant COTS electronics data acquisition technology

ASHBURN, Va. – February 8, 2017 -- Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division announced today that it has been selected by Italy’s ELV SpA (Avio Group), the prime contractor on the Vega-C Launcher System and GPM Development and Qualification Program for the European Space Agency (ESA), to provide a COTS-based telemetry data system for the new launcher.

The mid-sized Vega-C is designed to deliver government, commercial, and science payloads weighing three tons or less, such as small satellite constellations to low-earth orbit. As this market is especially cost sensitive, ESA’s goal is for the Vega-C launcher to serve as a next-generation launch vehicle that is able to support the same or greater mission objectives as the original Vega launcher, but at reduced cost. Curtiss-Wright’s cost-effective COTS electronics systems approach was selected to support this challenging performance/cost target.

This agreement represents the first use of Curtiss-Wright’s groundbreaking radiation tolerant Smart Backplane technology on a European launch vehicle. Under the contract, Curtiss-Wright will provide ELV with a full telemetry system, including data acquisition, data handling, and RF transmission. The Vega-C development contract runs from January 2017 until first launch in June 2019, with a value estimated at $5 million. The value of the subsequent production phase is estimated at more than $10 million over the lifetime of the program.

“We are very excited about being selected by ELV to provide our cost-effective Space COTS telemetry system for use on the Vega-C, especially as this is our first avionics design win on a European launcher,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “Our unique Smart Backplane technology enables radiation tolerant electronics to be used in many applications across many market sectors, allowing lower cost COTS modules to be reliably used in harsh space environments.”

The Vega-C rocket will be launched from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. ESA’s requirement for Vega-C flights include a minimum of three launches per year, with expected demand for at least four per year. Curtiss-Wright will develop and manufacture the telemetry system for Vega-C at its facilities in Dublin, Ireland.

Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programs of ESA is coordinated by Enterprise Ireland in collaboration with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

“This is a significant achievement by an Irish based operation working at the cutting edge of space technologies,” said John Halligan T.D. Ireland’s Minister of State for Skills, Research & Innovation. “This contract award demonstrates how Irish operations, such as Curtiss-Wright’s business unit in Dublin, are developing technologies to the highest levels of performance and reliability for the European space program. These technologies have the potential to lead to increased sales in the global market and the creation of high value jobs in Irish operations in line with the Government’s strategy for Ireland’s membership in ESA.”

For more information on Curtiss-Wright’s 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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