Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”), a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, delivered eight flight control moment gyroscopes (CMG) or CMG actuators and their associated fully redundant control electronics to an undisclosed customer.
“BCT has leveraged its deep technical knowledge of reaction wheels and ultra-low disturbance motors to develop high-precision CMGs with increased agility at a lower power compared to traditional reaction wheels,” said Matt Carton, Component Development Executive Director. “This increase in performance provides improved spacecraft agility that has applications for a wide range of customer missions.”
Each CMG outputs over 12.5Nm of torque, which is 50x the 0.25Nm capability of BCT’s current RW8 and RW4 reaction wheels. This max torque is achieved by each CMG using about half the power compared to the RW4 wheel. A CMG with over 8Nm of torque is in development at BCT, which will become a standard offering in Saturn ESPA Grande-class Microsats. The actuator can double and even quadruple the utility of spacecraft, providing a significant return on investment.
In conjunction with these flight deliveries, BCT has also accumulated over 2.5 million gimbal cycles through an accelerated life test designed to simulate each CMG’s on-orbit operation. Achieving this level of cycling on top of the rigorous qualification test campaign validates the robustness of the rotor/gimbal bearing, rotor/gimbal motor, slip ring design, and custom isolation system design.
About Blue Canyon Technologies
Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, offers a diverse portfolio of innovative, reliable and affordable spacecraft that enable a broad range of missions and technological advancements for the new space economy, reducing the barriers of space entry. BCT is currently supporting nearly 50 unique missions with over 90 spacecraft, all in production at their newly developed 80,000-square-foot facility in Lafayette, Colorado.
BCT has supported missions for the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats, which successfully traveled to Mars. The company has been recognized with awards from Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, the 2020 Best in Biz Award and the 2020 Tibbetts Award.
About Raytheon Intelligence & Space
Raytheon Intelligence & Space delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, and cyber and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers in more than 46 countries around the world. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the business generated $15 billion in adjusted pro forma annual revenue in 2020 and has 37,000 employees worldwide. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies Corporation.