Engineering Services

ALS works with Auxiliary Payload Managers providing integration, engineering and contracting tools, personnel and processes focused on all aspects of launch success.  Success is measured by effective communication of Primary Space Craft, Launch Service Provider, and range driven schedule, test, analysis and report requirements to every member of the Rideshare team.  Mutual success is ensured when each member of the Rideshare team in turn validates that each milestone is achieved on time, accurately and in full compliance.

Beginning with the Mission Kickoff ALS personnel work closely with each Auxiliary Payload team supporting mechanical and electrical interface design and assembly, clearance evaluation, separation analysis, EMI/EMC, EED and safety reports.  ALS is responsible for mission integration thermal, coupled load, contamination, vibration, acoustic, shock, circuit, power, and venting models, analysis and test.  ALS develops Auxiliary Payload Support Unit mission software providing sequenced power switching and separation validation to each Auxiliary Payload separation system.  Each Auxiliary Payload Team is provided technical and facility support at an ALS managed AQUILA integration facility affording AP Team direct communication, power and physical contact with their space craft as close to launch date as possible.  And, on launch day each AP team is provided launch viewing as well as timely receipt of space craft separation confirmation and Orbital Parameters.

ALS Multi-manifest Systems

ALS assists primary launch system providers and major spacecraft manufacturers in winning new business and capturing revenue through hosted payload and secondary space vehicle missions, referred to as “rideshare or secondary payloads”.  ALS provides full spectrum rideshare solutions including marketing the rideshare community, supporting secondary spacecraft mission integration, and manufacturing secondary launch systems.

ALS integrates multiple Auxiliary Payloads together with our structural and avionics systems forming the AQUILA space craft.   Launch vehicle managers can treat AQUILA as a Auxiliary Payload Carrier providing both a qualified and tested support structure for the Primary Space Craft and an autonomous Auxiliary Payload support/control system.  ALS works closely with Primary Space Craft managers creating integrated MSPSP, mission integration models, EMI/EMC reports, environments tests and other certification documents.  One integrated, analyzed and tested ALS delivers AQUILA to the Primary Space Craft integration facility where AQUILA is mounted to the Launch Vehicle adapter through a standard 1575 mm interface and a single cable connector.

AQUILA Rideshare Launch Service

Recent advancements in space craft communications, computers, power and attitude control, together with similar advances in space based instrumentation, have enabled small satellites to assume roles of national importance.  As a result, United States Government (USG) and commercial launch providers continue to assess the feasibility of integrating and flying Mini, Micro, Nano and Pico Satellites on Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launch systems.  It now remains for the space community to create mechanical and avionics platforms, enabling researchers throughout the United States to successfully ride share with primary commercial and USG space craft.

The A-DECK provides Auxiliary Payloads from 1 to 1000 kgs an effective means to ride share on ATLAS V and Delta IV missions.  The innovations incorporated in the A-DECK include:

  • Operates within Mission Planners Guide payload accommodations, taking advantage of well documented ground and flight environments;
  • Safely separates Auxiliary Payload from Primary Spacecraft;
  • Allows Auxiliary Payload Customer direct access to their spacecraft, during final checkout up to one day before Primary Spacecraft encapsulation;
  • Provides dedicated Auxiliary Payload deployment sequencer, independent from launch vehicle software and avionics;
  • Utilizes single electrical cable interface to launch vehicle, minimizing integration time and impact on Primary Spacecraft;