Aerospace Industry uses Composites to Transport Satellites

Composite materials are used in many aerospace applications from rocket fins to spacecraft reentry systems. However, they’re now being used in a piece of aerospace technology that will never even leave Earth: the satellite transport container.

Benefits of composite use in satellite transport container

The composite satellite container, also known as Galileo, is the aerospace industry’s answer to the possibility of pre-launch damage to satellites. While most companies worry about their satellites being damaged during launch or once they’re in space, Northrop Grumman Innovative Systems was worried about them being damaged while being transported to their launch site. Formerly known as Orbital ATK, Northrop Grumman Innovative Systems (NGIS) wanted to design a container that would protect its GEOStar 3 satellite during transportation, and this need resulted in the Galileo satellite transport container.

The structure of the container is made up of three separate parts: a steel base, a composite lower lid and a composite upper lid. The lower composite lid is attached directly to the base while the upper lid is removable. The upper section was made to be removable so that the satellite doesn’t have to be lifted as far into the air when it’s inserted or removed from the container. Also, the two composite lid halves allow the container to be made airtight, which was one of the specifications that NGIS required of the container.

In addition to these two benefits of using a composite upper and lower lid for the Galileo container, composite materials provide several other benefits to the container. Some of these benefits include:

  • Lower weight than other considered materials
  • The high thermal R-value of composites
  • The fact that the lids can be made with minimal joints
  • The weather-proof nature of composite materials
  • The corrosion resistance offered by composites
  • The low production cost of the composite container lids

Thanks to all of the benefits offered by composite materials, the satellite transport container will be helping the aerospace industry keep space vehicles safe on the ground for years to come.

Composites One leads North America in composite material distribution

If your company creates composite components for the aerospace industry, then one of the most important things for your business is to have a reliable source of composite materials. At Composites One, our helpful team can help you get all of the composite materials that your business needs thanks to the thousands of products we have in stock from more than 600 suppliers. We also offer 41 conveniently-located supply centers across the United States and Canada, which ensures you have a supply point close to your business.

Contact the Composites One team today to learn more about how we can help you get your composite materials.