Northern Arizona University Fall 2021 Capstone

Northrop Grumman Umbilical


Northrop Grumman Space Systems launch vehicles are used in a variety of missions including delivering satellites to orbit and suborbital missions to protect our nation. On the launch pad these vehicles are supplied with electrical power, communications, pressurized gasses and other various resources through a variety of cables and hoses. These cables and hoses that connect the vehicle to the Ground Support Equipment (GSE) are referred to as umbilical cables. To ensure the performance of our vehicles during lift off, it is important to retract the umbilical lines away from the vehicle to avoid interference.

Project Desription

The objective of this project is to design an umbilical retraction system. The umbilical retraction system will be designed to pull cables/hoses away from the vehicle after they are released to avoid damage to the launch vehicle. The retraction system needs to be easily installed and removable. It cannot exert excessive force on the umbilical cables prior to separation with the launch vehicle. In addition, it needs to be reliable for mission success and durable to withstand launch environments. Further improvements may also be made to the system at the discretion of the team such as protection of the umbilical cables against thermal and shock environments.


Dr. David Willy
- Senior Lecture
Kaitlyn Barr
- Northrop Grumman Mechanical Engineer


Northrop Grumman
- "Northrop Grumman is a pioneering company. We design, develop, build and support some of the world's most advanced products, from cutting-edge aircraft and next-generation spacecraft to unrivaled cyber security systems and all-seeing radars"