Andrews Space, Honeybee To Jointly Produce CMGs

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Andrews Space of Seattle and Honeybee Robotics of New York will produce control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) for a range of spacecraft sizes under an exclusive teaming arrangement the companies plan to announce July 19.

Andrews will be responsible for system integration, control avionics and software while Honeybee will be responsible for rotating machinery and other mechanical items, according to an advance copy of the press release announcing the partnership. The resulting products will be marketed as a joint Andrews-Honeybee product, the release said.

The companies aim to produce small, cost-effective CMGs for “nanospacecraft, small and microspacecraft, and large spacecraft applications,” according to the release.

Current development activities are focused on the nanospacecraft and microspacecraft products, the release said.

Honeybee announced in December 2009 it had been awarded a NASA Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a low-cost, high-torque and low-jitter satellite attitude control actuator for satellites in the 5-kilogram to 100-kilogram class.

“We will have an integrated system prototype of CMGs and control avionics available this summer for spacecraft weighing less than 100 [kilograms],” Jason Andrews, president and chief executive of Andrews Space, said in a statement. “We are also on track to have a working system sized for small and microspacecraft up and running by [January] 2011.”