ARES’ engineering expertise spans system-level analyses to detailed hardware and software design, development, and testing.

System Engineering

For over a decade, ARES has provided system engineering analysis for customers such as the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate. ARES’ system level analyses start with mission concept design and matured through design, development, test, launch integration, and launch activities as projects progress through the life cycle phases. We apply our risk-based assessment to identify and prioritize risk areas, allowing us to optimize the allocation of mission resources.

ARES has provided Chief Engineer and senior systems engineering personnel to analyze mission-specific space environments and use those analyses to derive a robust set of acceptance test procedures for verification and validation of the payload design.  We use quantitative and stochastic methods, and multi-variant decision analysis tools to provide system analysis performance reports that balance performance, cost, schedule, and risk using program weighting factors. ARES personnel support payload environmental testing including vibration, thermal vacuum, and EMI; performing test data analysis and final reporting. We generate and review verification artifacts, supporting closure of test plans and completion of flight readiness certification packages.

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

Launch Vehicle and Spacecraft Engineering

ARES provides engineering support to government and commercial space transportation programs across multiple disciplines. This includes structures and mechanisms design and analysis, passive and active thermal control subsystem design and analysis, EMI/EMC analysis and test support, and software development and testing. Our engineers have performed worst-case analyses for the Grail and ICESAT II programs, developing and analyzing P-Spice models. We develop models and drawing packages using SolidWorks™, ProEngineer™, and AutoCAD™ as needed to meet customer requirements. These models integrate with our structural and thermal analysis tools and we routinely transfer design data and models between our Team and customer CAD tools. We have developed component passive thermal control system; modeled on-orbit electronics hardware to verify thermal behavior; developed test plans and procedures for thermal vacuum testing of electronics hardware, and developed thermal models using Thermal Desktop and SINDA/FLUINT software tools. We support development and maintenance of testbeds, simulators, and hardware functions used to develop software. We use these testbeds for build verification testing and system validation testing of Flight Software FSW, using H/W engineering test units where possible, and incorporating emulators and simulators where necessary.

Ground Support Equipment

ARES possesses the technical engineering resources and experience to perform design, analysis, and CAD modeling for all Mechanical Ground Support Equipment (MGSE). Design of MGSE, including special tools and assembly fixtures, requires a good understanding of engineering and interface requirements, material properties, machinability, and dimensional stability, as well as manufacturing processes, capabilities and cost. Dimensional and tolerance requirements are derived from thermal analyses, material CTE, and interface requirements. ARES applies ASME Y14.5-2009 GD&T standards to ensure assembly form, fit, and functional requirements are met, while providing maximum manufacturing allowances to keep fabrication costs down.

ARES Team personnel have been responsible for refurbishment and reuse of MGSE hardware, particularly launch site equipment, which routinely require refurbishment, proof test, and occasionally modification prior to reuse. Our personnel have developed plans and procedures for these activities, including the inspection, refurbishment, and reuse of launch site support equipment for the Taurus launch vehicle. For the Space Technology Research, Analysis, Integration, and Testing (STRAIT) Contract, ARES tasks included performing engineering verification of all ground support equipment for DSX and TacSat-3 spacecraft. We also provided design engineering and fabrication of GSE hardware for the Orion Launch Abort System, delivering the Orion Assembly and Integration Trailer and Handling and Integration Equipment (rocket motor shipping/alignment dollies, integration tables, and V-rail) for the Orion rocket motors.

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

Technical Support Experience

ARES provides subject matter experts and engineering consulting services to government and commercial customers. For nearly a decade, we have provided System Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) support to DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, supporting a range of air and space vehicle technology programs. Our network of SMEs covering a wide range of aerospace disciplines allows us to rapidly and efficiently staff task orders from customers. ARES demonstrated this capability in support of NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program at Kennedy Space Center, where we were able to swiftly apply technical expertise in support of several special design studies. Similarly, we have quickly ramped up support for commercial space companies where engineering expertise was needed to solve a pressing engineering problem. ARES’ wide variety of contracts, tasks, and customers provides an additional advantage: in addition to enabling rapid staffing to support surge requirements, we are also able to rapidly reassign staff when the task is complete, ensuring that the customer’s needs are satisfied at the most efficient cost.