ATA's Joint Venture, ATA Aerospace, Supports AFRL's ANGELS Program
ATA’s Joint Venture, ATA Aerospace, supported the successful launch of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space (ANGELS) satellite in July 2014. The ANGELS satellite is examining techniques for providing a clearer picture of the environment around our nation’s vital space assets. The Air Force is using the results of the experiment to evolve future satellite systems, ensuring responsive performance of space situational awareness from a safe distance.
AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate manages the ANGELS program as part of its research in advanced Space Situational Awareness (SSA). ATA Aerospace is the project’s integration and test contractor, and also provides essential satellite operations support. For example, ATA Aerospace performed pre-launch activities for ANGELS, which included planning, training, execution, and evaluation for spacecraft and launch vehicle rehearsals, exercises, and ground/spacecraft compatibility tests. As depicted in the photos below ATA Aerospace personnel also performed launch vehicle integration (left) and fueling activities (right) prior to the July launch.
The current ANGELS program began in 2007, focused on meeting the country’s needs to improve methods for monitoring an increasingly contested space environment. As the prime contractor for the Space Vehicles Directorate’s Space Technology Research and Integrated Vehicle Experiments (STRIVE) contract and its predecessor contract, STRAIT, ATA Aerospace has been closely involved with ANGELS throughout its history.