CompositesWorld

OCT 2018

CompositesWorld

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77 CompositesWorld.com Composite Container Protects Satellites Illustration / Karl Reque Northrop Grumman "Galileo" Satellite Shipping Container › Cored composites in container lid meet strength and stiffness design requirements with minimal joints. › Two-part lid (upper and lower) reduces lift height, simplifies equipment access. › Steel base frame accommodates turnover fixture and vibration isolators for smoother transit. and include "wire rope isolators," or devices that absorb vibrations and prevent shocks to fragile equipment while in transit. From a handling point of view, adds Callahan, the container had to be robust enough to meet Northrop Grumman's standards for mechanical ground support equipment (e.g., forklift trucks, overhead cranes); have adequately strong lifting points; have an airtight yet removable lid with standard quick-release hardware; have adequate interior clearance to allow for unanticipated jostling of the satellite during transport; be able to accommo- date an array of auxiliary equipment on an extended front deck; and finally, still be able to clear all high-bay doors at Northrop Grumman's Integration and Test facilities. Hood describes some of the details that had to be considered: "e satellite is rather tall, so shipping it upright wouldn't work. We needed a turnover and handling fixture inside the container." In other words, the satellite would have to be lifted by crane into the container and attached to a handling fixture, which would slowly rotate the satellite down onto its side within the container. He adds that the engineering for the turnover fixture alone was complicated, requiring a computer-controlled system for the pivot actuators. Many more operational details, such as a heat pump, air-conditioning system, nitrogen purge system, and an access Upper, removable lid Lid removed, showing satellite turnover fixture Lower, fixed lid Balsa-cored fiberglass panels 4.3m high Extended front deck with ancillary equipment Lower, fixed lid Steel base frame 7.7m long (lid length) 4.7m wide 11.5m long

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