Dec. 18, 2012
/PRNewswire/ -- Honeywell Aerospace
announced that its Reaction Wheel Assemblies (RWAs) for satellites, which are designed to control the momentum of satellites in orbit, have totaled more than 100 million flight hours. In the more than 40 years that Honeywell has created innovative products for satellites, such as RWAs, no Honeywell RWA has ever caused a satellite to fail or abort a mission.
Currently Honeywell has more than 1,100 RWAs in orbiting satellites with many satellites staying operational beyond their originally intended mission length due to Honeywell products.
What Is an RWA?
An RWA steers a satellite while in orbit, pointing it in the right direction and putting it in the right position. It is critical to every function a satellite performs, whether for civil and military communications, data transmission, or other purpose.
According to the Satellite Industry Association, government and civil communications satellites make up nearly 60 percent of the satellites in orbit. Without proper momentum control, satellites are at risk of not performing properly, aborting their mission or potentially failing completely. Without the precise momentum control of Honeywell RMAs, consumers can lose access to phone, TV, Internet, mobile communications and other services provided by satellites.
In addition to Reaction Wheel Assemblies, Honeywell provides Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs) for applications requiring higher torque or more agility than is typically available from RWAs.
Honeywell Satellite Expertise
Honeywell has provided products and services, including RWAs, to satellite operators for more than 40 years. Satellite operators such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Ball Aerospace, the U.S. Department of Defense and numerous others use Honeywell RWAs to keep their satellites in orbit and functioning well beyond the initial scope of the mission.
Honeywell customers understand that by using Honeywell RWAs, satellites can stay functioning in space and on mission longer than expected, saving the time and resources needed to launch a new satellite or replace a failed one. With satellite missions often costing in the hundreds of millions of dollars, keeping satellites running longer with RWAs helps operators keep costs down.