Lockheed Martin Space Simulation Lab Upgrade and Maintenance
Location: Littleton, CO
Completed: 1996 through present
Client: Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Size: 1,400 man-hours
Service and Maintenance Support Help Cutting-Edge Devices of Space Age Company Go the Distance
The 5,400-acre Waterton Research Campus of Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado focuses on the development and testing of space-bound technology. To ensure the reliable operation of the more than 70 production, test and space simulation facilities that enable Lockheed to pursue its cutting-edge work, it relies on Guarantee Electrical, which has operated an on-campus service and maintenance office there since 1996.
A recent, representative assignment saw Guarantee collaborate with Lockheed on the creation of a fail-safe electrical back-up system to eliminate the risk of power supply failure to the world’s largest thermal vacuum chamber. The chamber puts experimental flight hardware to the test in an extreme-temperature, thermal vacuum chamber. Tests are sustained, uninterrupted, for weeks at a time.
“Even a small disruption in service can halt testing and cost Lockheed millions of dollars,” said Bruce Rogers, Guarantee project manager.
The backup system remotely monitors the facility’s electrical grid. When the potential for a power outage is detected, an uninterrupted power system (UPS) automatically switches on, acting as a stopgap while a one-megawatt backup generator powers up. Other key features of the installation included transfer switches, upgraded panel boards and remote generator controls.
Rogers said an ongoing challenge is to complete each project on time and within budget while conforming to Lockheed’s elevated safety and security protocols. “Often, our employees are working next to experimental flight hardware worth millions of dollars. Every Guarantee employee assigned to this office undergoes strict safety training before ever setting foot on a job site. Once there, they are accompanied by a security detail to assure the valuable equipment is protected.”