The Guidance & Control Systems Division, Goleta, Calif., of Litton Industries, has been awarded a $13.7 million contract from the California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for the design, development and delivery of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for the Europa Orbiter Spacecraft.

The requirements for the upcoming mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa
are unique and challenging, requiring critical technologies to be
developed in order to meet important science objectives. The Litton
IMU is a key element of the spacecraft’s attitude control subsystem,
typically complemented with a star camera and/or other optical
reference sensors.

In the case of the Europa Orbiter, the mission includes critical
maneuvers, such as the Europa Orbit Insertion (EOI) required to place
the spacecraft into orbit about the Jupiter moon, in which the IMU
becomes the sole sensor for propagating spacecraft attitude during the
EOI burn.

The contract is a follow-on to a study program started in May 1999
to identify an IMU that can withstand Europa’s harsh radiation
environment and fit within all of the other constraints and goals for
spacecraft components. Litton’s second-generation hemispherical
resonator gyro (HRG) space inertial reference unit (Scalable SIRU(TM))
was found to be an enabling technology for the Europa mission.

It provides improved capabilities over the first-generation
HRG-based SIRU(TM) in helping to enable the current generation of
long-life 3-axis stabilized geostationary communication and deep space
exploratory spacecraft missions.

The IMU is part of the new Scalable SIRU(TM) inertial product
family addressing the expanding commercial, NASA and military high
reliability mission needs over a broad performance range, building on
the heritage of Litton’s successful first-generation systems. This
design includes the highest reliability space proven gyro technology
available today. Twenty-seven systems are currently in space flight,
having accumulated more than 1,100,000 hours of successful gyro

Litton is the largest builder of non-nuclear ships for the U.S.
Navy and designs, builds and overhauls surface ships for government
and commercial customers worldwide. The company is a prime contractor
to the U.S. government for information technology and provides
specialized IT services to commercial customers and government
customers in local/foreign jurisdictions.

Litton is a leading provider of defense and commercial electronics
technology, components and materials for customers worldwide. With
headquarters in Woodland Hills, Calif., Litton reported annual revenue
of $5.6 billion and more than 40,000 employees for the year ended
7/31/00. For more information, visit Litton’s Web site at