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August 15, 2001

Local Manufacturer Gets Sandia Contract to Supply Spacecraft Sensors

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has awarded a one-year contract worth $675,000 to locally owned ATA Sensors to manufacture angular displacement sensors to be installed on satellite payloads. ATA Sensors is the commercial division of Applied Technology Associates (ATA). Established in 1975, ATA is an 8 (a) Certified Small Business that employs about 50 people. ATA provides products and engineering services for measurement and control applications.

The angular displacement sensor is a critical component for satellite operation because it performs the fine measurements crucial to diagnose and correct motion, referred to as jitter. The jitter measurement data will be used to perform instrument diagnostics on a satellite. Albuquerque-based ATA Sensors manufactures one of the most sensitive, space-qualified, angular vibration measurement sensors available in the market today.

Sandia Contracting Representative Jim Green said, “We are fortunate to have a New Mexico-based business to support Sandia National Laboratories in this technology.”

ATA Sensors had an opportunity through the Small Business Program at Sandia to test the angular displacement sensor while it was in development for the NOAA-GOES (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-Geo-stationary Operational Environment Satellite) Program. Sandia provided the facility and expertise for ATA Sensors to vibration and shock test the sensor to ensure that the instruments would meet the criteria to operate in space. The sensor passed the test and is now a space-qualified product.

Applied Technology Associates President Anthony Tenorio said, “We see the challenges and opportunities of this and other space-based programs allowing our company to establish a new on-orbit motion measurement standard that will apply to a variety of multi-national satellite programs over the next decade.”

“ATA’s research and development background has been developed in conjunction with the support and cooperation of the Air Force Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories,” said ATA Chief Financial Officer Rob Richmond. “This support has enabled us to develop a proprietary line of angular displacement sensors which are among the highest performing sensors in the world today.”

ATA will soon move to its new corporate and manufacturing headquarters located in the Sandia Science & Technology Park.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia Contracting Representative:
Jim Green, jjgreen@sandia.gov(505) 844-0765,

Sandia media contact:
Janet Carpenter, jacarpe@sandia.gov, (505) 844-7841


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