Encyclopedia Astronautica

American manufacturer. Gilbert, Gilbert, Arizona, USA.

Company begun in late 1980's to enter small satellite business. Original location Manhattan Beach, CA.

AKA: Spectrum Astro.
Location: Gilbert, Arizona.

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Gilbert Chronology

2000 July 19 - . 20:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC8. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1. LV Configuration: Minotaur 1 2.
  • Mightysat 2.1 - . Payload: SA-200B. Mass: 120 kg (260 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SA-200. Decay Date: 2002-11-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 26414 . COSPAR: 2000-042A. Apogee: 581 km (361 mi). Perigee: 547 km (340 mi). Inclination: 97.7835 deg. Period: 95.86 min. Mightysat 2.1, also known as Sindri, used a Spectrum Astro SA-200B satellite bus. The spacecraft carried a hyperspectral imager for earth imaging and spectroscopy, as well as satellite technology experiments such as advanced solar arrays. An Aerospace Corp./DARPA picosatellite experiment, consisting of two small boxes connected by a deployable tether, was deployed later. Similar picosats were deployed on the previous Minotaur launch in January 2000.

2002 February 5 - . 20:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Mayport DZ. Launch Pad: 29.0 N x 78.5 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. LV Configuration: Pegasus XL F31.
  • HESSI - . Payload: SA-200S. Mass: 449 kg (989 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HESSI. USAF Sat Cat: 27370 . COSPAR: 2002-004A. Apogee: 599 km (372 mi). Perigee: 574 km (356 mi). Inclination: 38.0000 deg. Period: 96.40 min. HESSI, the sixth Small Explorer, carried a rotating modulation collimator transform telescope, imaging solar flares in the hard X-ray spectrum. The launch marked the return to flight of Pegasus after the Hyper-X failure. The launch was originally to have occurred on 28 March 2001. The L-1011 launch aircraft took off at 19:29 GMT from the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip RW30/12, and headed out to the drop area at 28.0 N 78.5 W over the Atlantic. Drop of the Pegasus in the Atlantic Drop Zone at 28.0 N 78.5 W was at 20:58 GMT, with ignition 5 seconds later. The Pegasus reached orbit at 21:07 GMT. On the first pass it was confirmed that the solar panels had opened.

    The satellite rotated at 15 rpm, imaging by reconstructing the Fourier components from the time modulation of the solar x-ray flux through a set of 9 grids each 9 cm in diameter. It was expected to make images with a resolution of 2 arcseconds at 40 keV energies and 36 arcseconds at 1 MeV energies. The launch delays meant that HESSI missed some of the best flares at solar max.

2003 January 6 - . 14:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-4 / M68B-105 / 66-4316.
  • Coriolis - . Payload: SA-200HP, P98-2. Mass: 828 kg (1,825 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Coriolis. USAF Sat Cat: 27640 . COSPAR: 2003-001A. Apogee: 936 km (582 mi). Perigee: 742 km (461 mi). Inclination: 98.7362 deg. Period: 101.55 min. Coriolis was an Air Force Space Test Program three-year meteorological science mission to demonstrate the viability of using polarimetry to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction from space, and to demonstrate predictions of geomagnetic disturbances through continuous observation of Coronal Mass Ejections. Launch delayed from August 22, November 15, December 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2002 and January 5, 2003.

2004 November 20 - . 17:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. Launch Pad: SLC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7320-XC. LV Configuration: Delta 7320-10C D309.
  • Swift - . Payload: SA-200LL. Mass: 1,331 kg (2,934 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Astronomy. Type: Gamma ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Swift. USAF Sat Cat: 28485 . COSPAR: 2004-047A. Apogee: 604 km (375 mi). Perigee: 584 km (362 mi). Inclination: 20.6000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Summary: NASA Medium-class Explorer satellite dedicated to study of gamma ray bursts, the third after the IMAGE and WMAP satellites. Delayed from December 5 and 29, 2003, January 14, April 29, July 15, September 1, October 7 and 26, November 8, 11, 17, 18 and 19..

2007 April 24 - . 06:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA0B. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1. LV Configuration: Minotaur 1 7.
  • NFIRE - . Payload: SA-200B. Mass: 494 kg (1,089 lb). Nation: USA. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SA-200. USAF Sat Cat: 31140 . COSPAR: 2007-014A. Apogee: 497 km (308 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 48.2000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Near Field Infrared Experiment conducted by the US Missile Defense Agency. Its Track Sensor Payload included visible and short, medium and long wave infrared sensors to observe missiles launched from the ground, and obtain basic data to distinguish between the missile and its hot rocket exhaust plume for application to anti-ballistic missile systems. Secondary payloads included Tesat, a German laser communications terminal, and its hydrazine propulsion system. This was used to maneuver the satellite from its initial 255 km x 465 km x 48.2 deg orbit to 489 km x 497 km by 18 May. The orbit was changed to 243 km x 487 km on 9 August and by 23 August was 219 km x 450 km. The satellite had a dry mass of 380 kg dry, was 2.7 m long and 1.3 m in diameter.

    The first major sensor test occurred when Minotaur II rocket TLV-7, was fired at 08:30 GMT on 23 August from Vandenberg in NFIRE Mission 2a. The Minotaur II was aimed to pass within 4 and 20 km of the NFIRE satellite while its third stage motor burning, to allow NFIRE to get a close look at the rocket and its exhaust. The Missile Defense Agency reported that the experiment was successful.

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