General Atomics Awarded NASA Contract for Commercial Satellite

SAN DIEGO, CA, 17 SEPT 2018 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has been awarded a contract from NASA to host the agency’s Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) instrument on a satellite designed by GA-EMS. NASA’s MAIA payload will be delivered and integrated on the Orbital Test Bed (OTB)-2 spacecraft at GA-EMS’ Englewood, CO facility. GA-EMS will perform services to include payload integration, satellite testing and MAIA pre-launch processing, spacecraft and launch vehicle coordination, in-orbit checkout, and on-orbit spacecraft operations enabling instrument operations.

“We’ve developed a very successful working relationship with the NASA team, hosting their Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) on our Orbital Test Bed satellite,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “We are excited to be working with NASA’s team once again to apply our innovations in modular satellite design to support MAIA’s planned multi-year mission to gather critical data for researchers to analyze pollution’s effect on the human population.”

GA-EMS’ hosted satellite services provide a unique opportunity for customers to launch experimental hardware and payloads into Earth orbit without incurring the overhead of commissioning a full satellite mission. GA-EMS provides a breadth of experience in small satellite mission experience and services to include early concepts through to on-orbit operations.

“Our designs provide lower-cost access to space while helping customers keep pace with the demand to launch technologies like the MAIA and DSAC, to advance NASA’S research goals,” stated Nick Bucci, vice president for GA-EMS Missile Defense and Space Systems. “Our paradigm-shifting approach to small satellite design, coupled with our operational flight experience and focus on high mission assurance, allows us to create tailored solutions in a shorter timeframe.”

Scheduled for launch in 2022, MAIA’s planned three to five year on-orbit operation will measure particulate matter to allow correlation with adverse human health issues such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease. MAIA is a Venture-class investigation within NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Virginia. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA is responsible for MAIA instrument design, development, and delivery.

About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS’ history of research, development, and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, space systems and satellites, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial, and commercial customers worldwide.

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