Press Release

Lockheed Martin Awarded NASA Contract to Design and Build Solar Ultraviolet Imager for Goes-R Satellite Series

By SpaceRef Editor
September 25, 2007
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Lockheed Martin Awarded NASA Contract to Design and Build Solar Ultraviolet Imager for Goes-R Satellite Series

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has been awarded a $178 million contract by NASA to design and build the agency’s Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI). SUVI is a series of extreme ultraviolet instruments that will fly on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)-R Series, which will provide important information on solar activity and the effects of the Sun on the earth and the near-earth space environment. First launch of the series is scheduled for December 2014.

“As a team, we are excited to be selected to design and build SUVI,” said Mons Morrison, SUVI program manager at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto. “We look forward to working together with NASA and NOAA to produce the best possible instrument to make these crucial measurements.”

In recognition of the importance of the SUVI data, and the challenges associated with designing and building the instrument, Lockheed Martin assembled a highly capable team with a substantial record of success in providing similar instruments for other missions. The Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL) within the ATC is well known for solar instrument development and solar physics research. LMSAL recently completed work on the GOES-N Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) and oversaw its successful calibration on-orbit following a May 2006 launch. The team has produced other successful scientific instruments, such as the NASA TRACE small explorer mission and the Extreme UltraViolet Imager on the NASA STEREO mission. Data from these missions have contributed to our current understanding of solar activity and the resulting space weather.

Data from NOAA’s GOES spacecraft provide short-term advance weather warning to the commercial, educational and public sectors to protect lives, property and the environment. GOES data also fosters economic growth and promotes educational research. The future GOES-R missions will improve the quality and timeliness of forecasts, expanding the safety and economic security of the public.

Along with the Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) polar orbiting weather satellites currently built by Lockheed Martin, GOES is a critical part of the U.S. satellite constellation for weather observations. GOES is the weather satellite most familiar to the American public, as its images and time-lapse sequences are the primary visual material of television weather forecasts. The GOES system, operational since 1975, plays a critical role in weather and environmental forecasting. In orbit high above the equator, GOES satellites are uniquely positioned to observe the development of hazardous weather, such as hurricanes and severe thunderstorms, and to track their movement and intensity so that major losses of life and property can be reduced or avoided.

The GOES Program is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which establishes requirements, provides funding and distributes environmental data for the United States. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., manages the SUVI instrument acquisition as a part of its support to NOAA’s development of the GOES-R satellite series.

SUVI is one of the scientific instruments managed by Lockheed Martin’s Sensing and Exploration line of business. The instrument is designed and built at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto, California. The ATC is the research and development organization of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC). LMSSC, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; fleet ballistic missiles; and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006 sales of $39.6 billion.

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SpaceRef staff editor.