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Inspection Boom Assembly (IBA) Project

Supporting technological advancement with manufacturing capabilities.

On February 1 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry to Earth. At the heels of the disaster, an internal commission convened and published a list of recommendations that included the need for future aircrafts to have the capability to inspect the exterior surface before re-entry which led to the design of the Inspection Boom Assembly (IBA) 

Challenge and Solution

The Inspection Boom Assembly (IBA) needed numerous electrical assemblies, among them were a 28V and 124V Electrical Tray Assembly. The importance of the IBA as well as the unique space environment meant that a manufacturer was needed with proven track of high quality and high standards.

This led to the involvement of Kanata Electronic Services. Kanata built both electrical tray assemblies and several other assemblies that were incorporated in the Inspection Boom Assembly. 

The finished boom was equipped with cameras and sensors for real-time inspection of the thermal protection system.

Space shuttle overlooking earth


The first “Return to Flight” Space Shuttle mission, Discovery, launched in July 2005 with the IBA. The ground-breaking in-orbit inspection tool guaranteed the safety of the aircraft for the remainder of the mission. The IBA was used on all subsequent flights for the mission.

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