Press Release

Raytheon Delivers VIIRS Sensor Engineering Development Unit

By SpaceRef Editor
January 3, 2007
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Raytheon Delivers VIIRS Sensor Engineering Development Unit

The National Polar- orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) achieved a major milestone with the delivery of an advanced sensor engineering development unit by Raytheon Company.

Raytheon is a teammate with and subcontractor to Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC – News) on NPOESS, the next-generation, low-earth-orbiting environmental system of satellites, sensors, ground control technology, and a data processing and dissemination network.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems delivered the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) unit to Ball Aerospace & Technology Co. for integration and testing on the NPOESS Preparatory Project spacecraft. The delivery, which marks the culmination of an intensive effort to design and test the complex sensor, enables the start of system-level testing and risk reduction. The tests will verify the mechanical and electrical interfaces of the VIIRS unit and its compatibility with the preparatory spacecraft’s state-of- the-art data network. Along with other planned instruments, the VIIRS unit will also be part of a compatibility test that involves commanding the preparatory spacecraft and sensors from the ground station at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s satellite operations facility.

“Delivery of this next-generation sensor is a significant step toward ensuring early access to critical data and reducing the risks incurred while current systems transition to NPOESS,” said Jon Jones, president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.

VIIRS is one of four sensors that will fly on NPOESS Preparatory Project spacecraft. The multi-spectral instrument will collect visible/infrared and radiometric data on such atmospheric features as clouds, earth radiation, and sea color and surface temperature. The preparatory spacecraft is the precursor to NPOESS and will provide technical risk reduction and data continuity between NASA’s scientific Earth Observing System satellites Terra, Aqua and Aura, and the operational NPOESS system.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000 employees, and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

Raytheon Company, with 2005 sales of $21.9 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.

SpaceRef staff editor.