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Lockheed Martin Astronautics

Lockheed Martin Astronautics


The main site for Lockheed Martin's Astronautics division is a 5,400-acre industrial site, with numerous production, test, and space simulation facilities, and over 70 laboratories. The Astronautics division designs and manufactures space launch vehicles, such as Titan and Atlas rockets; satellites, for communications and defense; and space probes, such as the Mars probe it built for the 1996 Jet Propulsion Lab Mars mission. Over 6,000 people work at this plant. Astronautics' administrative headquarters is five miles away at a 1,060-acre office complex called the Deer Creek Facility.

The main site for Lockheed Martin's Astronautics division is a 5,400-acre industrial site, with numerous production, test, and space simulation facilities, and over 70 laboratories. The Astronautics division designs and manufactures space launch vehicles, such as Titan and Atlas rockets; satellites, for communications and defense; and space probes, such as the Mars probe it built for the 1996 Jet Propulsion Lab Mars mission. Over 6,000 people work at this plant. Astronautics' administrative headquarters is five miles away at a 1,060-acre office complex called the Deer Creek Facility.

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Lockheed Martin Space has received the official go-ahead to build a spacecraft that will spend about a year mapping the form and location of water on the moon.

Using an airborne observatory, a modified Boeing 747 with a nearly 9-foot-diameter telescope, NASA said in October that it had confirmed for the first time ever the existence of water on the sunlit surface of the moon. The Lunar Trailblazer, to be built at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Jefferson County, will orbit the moon, mapping where water is found at different times of the day and spots on the lunar surface.

The scheduled launch is February 2025. The craft, which will carry infrared and thermal imaging instruments, is about the size of a mini refrigerator and roughly 11 feet across with its solar panels deployed.

“It will be mapping key points across the moon, with a heavy focus on the poles but also the equatorial portion to make sure we’re able to cover all the different time zones as well as different latitudes for tracking the water cycle on the moon,” said Joshua Wood, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for the mission.

Wood said previous missions have revealed ice deposits in permanently shadowed regions, at the moon’s poles, but a recent study turned up signs of forms of waters at the equator. He said the water appears to move, but it’s not known how.

Scientists want to figure out where and when the water moves to facilitate future human exploration. Wood said it will help determine whether people would have access to water at different spots on the moon or whether they would need to stay closer to the poles where there are permanent deposits of water that don’t seem to move.

NASA plans to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024 as a start to further exploration of the surface.

Although Lockheed Martin got the OK from NASA to start building Trailblazer, two other crafts will launch before it does. The company will build twin spacecraft, each the size of a carry-on suitcase, for the Janus mission. The satellites, scheduled for launch in August 2022, will be equipped with visible and infrared cameras to take images of binary asteroids, two bodies orbiting a common center of mass.

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NASA has said Janus will contribute to the understanding of the solar system’s content, origin and evolution.

The Lunar Trailblazer and Janus programs are among three missions by NASA called the Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration. The budget for each of the missions is capped at $55 million.

In the case of Trailblazer and Janus, the satellites will hitch rides with larger spacecraft that will carry on to their own destinations. The University of Colorado-Boulder is leading the science for the Janus mission and the California Institute of Technology is leading Trailblazer. Wood is Lockheed Martin’s program manager for Janus.

“We do see the advantage of these small missions,” Wood said. “It’s great being able to use the extra launch capacity and still do big science out of these small packages.”

Sours: https://www.denverpost.com/2020/12/17/jefferson-county-lockheed-martin-nasa-lunar-craft/
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Lockheed set to integrate base kit for US Army’s combat vehicle protection system

WASHINGTON — Under a recent contract award with a $30 million ceiling, Lockheed Martin will begin integrating and formally testing its open-architecture processor designed to control the U.S. Army’s future combat vehicle protection system, the company announced Feb. 16.

The Army is determining the specific plans and schedules for integration and testing of Lockheed’s base kit for its Modular Active Protection System, or MAPS, that ties vehicle sensors and countermeasures into a common framework to detect, track and destroy rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles aimed at combat vehicles.

Lockheed is supporting those activities starting later this year through 2023, David Rohall, program manager for advanced ground vehicle systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, told Defense News.

The Army has not yet finalized dates for the formal testing.

Lockheed received an initial award of $1.5 million through an other transaction authority agreement following a competitive process in December 2020, but has since received $3 million of additional incremental funding, according to Rohall.

As part of the contract, Lockheed will develop the MAPS base kit hardware and software; perform platform integration; and run on-vehicle, live-fire demonstrations over a 36-month period. Funding will be incrementally issued throughout the period of performance, Rohall said.

The base kit consists of the MAPS open-architecture controller, application software, user interface, power management distribution system and a network switch, Rohall explained. The software identifies incoming threats and deploys the most suitable countermeasure to defeat them, he added.

“In an Army lab test, one MAPS-enabled active protection system actually responded faster to threats than its standalone version, thanks to the higher network speeds and greater processor power the MAPS controller offers,” Rohall said.

The Army is working with other industry partners to bring in sensors and countermeasures that are compliant with the MAPS architecture.

Lockheed has been working with the Army on solutions for a future vehicle protection system since 2014. The service initally awarded the MAPS software project to Raytheon and the hardware effort to Lockheed. But in 2017, the service transferred the software development to Lockheed.

The Army, Lockheed and other industry partners have been working to prepare sensors and countermeasures controlled by the MAPS base kit for lab and live-fire demonstrations, including soft-kill systems like Northrop Grumman’s MEOS, BAE Systems’ Raven and Ariel Photonics’ CLOUD, as well as hard-kill systems including Artis Corporation’s Iron Curtain and Elbit System’s Iron Fist.

Sensors include Northrop’s PICS IR sensor and Iron Curtain’s L3 Mustang, as well as several laser warning systems.

Lockheed will work with the Army for integration and testing on the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, the M1 Abrams tank, the Armored Multipurpose Vehicle and the Stryker combat vehicle ahead of a transition to the Vehicle Protection System program, Rohall said.

“We continue to support development activities. We expect to be back in the field this year to support testing on multiple combat vehicles equipped with laser warning receivers that are new to the MAPS architecture,” Rohall said.

The upcoming integration and testing is the last step for the base kit ahead of fielding the future Vehicle Protection System for ground combat vehicles. The effort will validate the Vehicle Protection System base kit capability for an initial production decision.

The contract also covers developing capabilities beyond active protection, Lockheed said, to include underbelly blast protection.

The Army has spent years developing a future Vehicle Protection System, and has had several attempts — one successful, others not — to field interim active protection systems onto current combat vehicles.

The service has already fielded Rafael’s Trophy active protection system on some Abrams tanks in Europe.

The Army had also chosen IMI’s Iron Fist for the Bradley but has struggled with technical issues and funding, and the program’s future is delayed and uncertain.

The service also had difficulty finding an interim candidate for its Stryker vehicle and hit a dead end with the effort in 2019. Iron Curtain was seen as the front-runner for Stryker, but due to system maturity, the service decided not proceed with its qualification efforts.

About Jen Judson

Jen Judson is the land warfare reporter for Defense News. She has covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a reporter at Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club's best analytical reporting award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards' best young defense journalist in 2018.

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