~Astronaut Rusty Schweickart
The most important aspect of a world-class spaceflight design and manufacturing organization is a culture of unwavering commitment to process quality and compliance. To establish processes that support the quality levels and documentation required for spaceflight products, we collaborated with our customers through formal programs such as the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program and during the execution of build-to-print contracts for unmanned satellite electronics. As capabilities, experience, and processes matured, we enhanced our processes and established new capabilities to include the selection, purchase, and upscreening of electronic/electromagnetic/electromechanical components (EEE) to offer full turn-key build-to-print services. In tandem with these evolutionary actions, we designed and built our Common Core Test Set (CCTS), which is an adaptable test system designed specifically to support both qualification and acceptance testing of spaceflight hardware. As our knowledge and expertise grew in breadth and depth, we began to take on design responsibilities consisting of the productization of our customer’s electrical and mechanical designs at first, then expanding to full design-to-specification capability.
Today, we offer full turn-key, design-to-specification services that are being utilized in the sustainment effort for the International Space Station. We completed the design and delivery of the Rotary Joint Motor Controller Interface Unit (RIU) in November 2011, and we are currently in the design phase of the backup controller for the International Docking Adapter.
Our turn-key, build-to-print capabilities have been utilized to provide power control electronics for familiar satellites such as EOS Aqua and Aura, Space Based Infrared Satellite (SBIRS-Lo), and Defense Support Program (DSP)—all of which are currently on-orbit. We have also provided (or are providing) electronics for are the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), Sirius/XM, and other commercial communications platforms.
Frontier Electronic Systems Corp. was selected by Boeing to design, qualify, manufacture, and deliver one engineering, one qualification and five flight Rotary Joint Motor Controller Interface units for NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) in 2009. These units are key to positioning the ISS solar arrays so that they optimize capture of the Sun’s energy.
Frontier’s technical excellence, early unit deliveries, and affordability resulted in Frontier’s 4th Boeing Supplier of the Year Award in 2011. Frontier is now designing, qualifying, and building the International Docking Adapter Control Panel for the ISS, which will be used by astronauts for manually controlling the embarkation and debarkation shuttle vehicles at the ISS.