Northrop Grumman’s Exclusive Resonator Gyro Achieves 18 Million Operating Hours in Space

By Northrop Grumman Corporation, PRNE
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

PARIS, June 22, 2011 -

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) patented
hemispherical resonator gyro (HRG) technology, which is used for
various space and military applications, recently achieved a major
milestone of 18 million hours of continuous operation with 100
percent mission success.

The HRG is lightweight, highly reliable and features a
thin-walled quartz shell sensing element. Since February 1996, the
HRG part of the Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit (Scalable
SIRU™) and its predecessor, the Space Inertial Reference Unit
(SIRU), has been a vital component of inertial navigation systems
that enable the stabilization, tracking and attitude control of
spacecraft and satellites by providing critical angular rate and
linear acceleration data. The Scalable SIRU™ was instrumental in
achieving the scientific objectives of the highly successful
MESSENGER and Deep Impact program missions.

“The HRG has proven dependability and high performance as seen
by its impressive track record of operating hours and mission
success,” said Susan Sloan, vice president of space systems at
Northrop Grumman’s Navigation Systems Division. “The HRG has been a
vital part of numerous space programs and we expect that this
long-lasting, innovative gyro will continue to be mission-critical
for our customers.”

HRG technology has been used in commercial, government and civil
space missions for domestic and international customers and has
been launched aboard more than 125 spacecraft. It was first used on
the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission, which was the first of
NASA’s Discovery missions and the first mission ever to place a
spacecraft into orbit around an asteroid. The HRG technology is
based on scientific observations made more than 100 years ago of a
“ringing” wine glass that produces changing sounds depending upon
its rate of rotation.

Northrop Grumman has experience in development and support of
all current production gyro technologies. Besides its exclusive
HRG, it produces spinning mass gyros, ring laser gyros, unique ZLG™
gyros, fiber-optic gyros and micro-electro-mechanical-system

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing
innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace,
electronics, information systems, and technical services to
government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit href="">
for more information.

Paris Air Show, Katie Lamb-Heinz, +1-847-815-0755, Katie.lamb at; or Gina Piellusch, +1-818-715-2285, gina.piellusch at, both of Northrop Grumman Corporation

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