In anticipation of a late summer launch from its Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC), the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) will deploy a rocket launch tracking system in Sand Point, AK to monitor the rocket for flight safety during launch.
AAC hosted a public meeting at the Sand Point School yesterday to discuss local impact of the Range Safety and Telemetry System (RSTS), to be stationed on the East side of the school from May through September.
“Sand Point was chosen for its accessibility, its infrastructure and its location relative to the launch trajectory,” said Jeff Roberts, an aerospace engineer for AAC. “We believe it provides the best angle for our tracking requirements.”
In accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding between AAC and the Aleutians East Borough School District, AAC has agreed to purchase local goods and services for operation of the RSTS, and to use local labor and contractors, as cost effective.
“In addition to the economic contribution, we are especially pleased to be operating at the school, where we can work with the school district and Sand Point faculty to create an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program for local students,” said Craig Campbell, AAC President and CEO.
“I would like to express my appreciation to the entire Sand Point community for welcoming our operation to the island, and working with us to motivate our youth to explore space by learning more about our RSTS and its role in launch operations,” Campbell said.
The RSTS is a state-of-the-industry rocket tracking system that uses Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology to monitor the trajectory and status of the rocket, as well as providing destruct capability, if required. AAC deploys two RSTS’s – one for use at KLC, and the other for use at an off-axis site to assure communications in case of exhaust interference during ascent.
AAC has also stationed its RSTS in King Salmon and Cordova for many of its past 16 successful launches from KLC.