From: Raytheon Company
Posted: Monday, December 8, 2008
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) and the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Integrated Program Office achieved another significant program milestone by successfully completing the next phase of compatibility testing for the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP).
The NASA-led spacecraft compatibility testing exercise was a significant achievement in paving the way for a successful NPP launch. The test was the first opportunity to exercise the two NPOESS-provided NPP ground segments with the NPP flight spacecraft. It included the processes of building, scheduling and up-linking instrument loads, managing the spacecraft in a fully automated mode, and verifying ground system and operational products.
All commanding of the satellite was done by Northrop-Raytheon operations and support personnel, who will operate NPP on orbit.
The NPP compatibility test used the NPP flight spacecraft, synthetically generated science data, spacecraft diagnostic and telemetry data collected from the spacecraft, and three of its key sensors: the flight Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder, the Engineering Development Unit (EDU) Cross-track Infrared Sounder and the EDU Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite.
"This marks significant progress in validating that the ground segments of the NPOESS program perform well with the NPP spacecraft and will deliver a quality product to the end user," said Michael Mader, vice president and NPOESS program director for Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems. "Successfully performing an end-to-end test for NPP validates all the hard work and was another major accomplishment for the Integrated Program Office, NASA and contractor team."
Dave Rosener, vice president, NPOESS, Northrop Grumman Space Technology, said, "Successful NPP compatibility testing helps to confirm that NPOESS, a new and complex system, will work as a system to deliver valuable environmental data to users."
The next scheduled command and telemetry testing will be in early 2009 after the integration of the next three flight instruments to the NPP spacecraft. A full ground compatibility test, planned for the summer of 2009, will consist of flowing pre-recorded satellite data through the ground station of the command, control and communications segment and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) long-term data archiving system. At the same time, it will test a 72-hour continuous mission operations exercise and mission management functions.
Raytheon is part of prime contractor Northrop Grumman's NPOESS team. NPOESS is a satellite system that will be used to monitor global environmental conditions and collect and disseminate data related to weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environments.
NPOESS data are vital for future weather analysis and forecasting to support military operations, civil applications and scientific research.
Based in Garland, Texas, Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems is a leading provider of information and intelligence solutions to the government. IIS had annual revenues in 2007 of approximately $2.7 billion and employs more than 9,000 engineering and technical professionals worldwide.
Raytheon Company, with 2007 sales of $21.3 billion, is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 86 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 72,000 people worldwide.
Note to Editors:
Raytheon routed the data gathered during the test, using the NPP ground system, from the ground station in Svalbard, Norway, sending it through a NASA-NOAA wide area network at 40Mbps across the Baltic Sea and Atlantic Ocean to the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Suitland, Md. At NSOF the data was processed into raw data records using a factory-released version of the NPOESS interface data processing segment. This exercise simulated the transmission of mission data as it will be collected, stored on the spacecraft, transmitted and processed during the NPP mission.
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