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Northrop touts its gyro technology milestone

July 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM
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WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., July 11 (UPI) -- A high-endurance resonator gyro by Northrop Grumman, used for military and commercial space applications, has achieved a major operational milestone, 25 million hours of continuous operation without a single mission failure, the company said.

Stephen J. Toner, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Military and Civil Space business unit, announced the milestone for the patented hemispherical resonator gyro Thursday.

"Our HRG's impressive track record in space is unmatched," Toner said. "Customers choose our high-endurance gyro for critical space missions that require superior performance and dependability because it is the pinnacle of space navigation."

The HRG has been a vital component of Northrop Grumman's Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit and its predecessor, the Space Inertial Reference Unit, which enable the stabilization, tracking and attitude control of spacecraft and satellites. It consists of three pieces of machined quartz, including a thin-walled quartz shell sensing element.

Northrop said the technology has been employed aboard more than 125 spacecraft launched for commercial, government and civil space missions.

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