ATK builds test bed for space hardware

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) will create a virtual space environment that will be used to test space hardware for the Defense Department under a $26.1 million contract.

ATK will design, build and install the virtual space environment called the Space Threat Assessment Testbed System, company officials said. The Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center awarded the contract.

The system, which can simulate man-made threats, will make it possible to perform developmental and early operational testing of space hardware for the National Reconnaissance Office and other federal agencies, the officials said. It will be able to replicate complex natural space environments and simulate low-Earth and geosynchronous orbits. The system includes connections for ground station hardware, software and operators.

Using the test bed, DOD can test new technologies without spending money on a space flight, said Bill Kasting, vice president and general manager of ATK's Integrated Systems.

ATK will perform program management and systems engineering at a company facility in Goleta, Calif.

ATK, of Minneapolis, is a provider of defense and aerospace products and systems.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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