Press Release

Raytheon Executes Successful Recovery and Delivery of Defense Weather Satellite Data Via Antarctica

By SpaceRef Editor
April 18, 2012
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Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System achieves milestone with nearly 50 percent data latency reduction

The Common Ground System (CGS) developed by Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) achieved a major milestone with the successful download and delivery of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) data through McMurdo Station, Antarctica, to the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) in Omaha, Neb.

“With this achievement, we have proven Raytheon’s ability to successfully execute value-added satellite ground communications, data retrieval and routing solutions on time and under cost, supporting both military and civil needs,” said Bill Sullivan, JPSS CGS program director for Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems business. “Achieving this capability completes the last major project phase to evolve the JPSS CGS communications infrastructure to supplement the delivery of associated weather satellite missions’ data and significantly reduce their latencies by nearly 50 percent.”

As a culmination to decades of effort by the U.S. Air Force to establish a robust defense weather capability, Raytheon members worked as part of a team including Harris Corp., the National Science Foundation, NASA, NOAA and Air Force representatives. The team successfully installed a Raytheon-developed JPSS antenna and Harris data recorders for connection to Raytheon’s JPSS McMurdo Multimission Communications System (MMCS) and JPSS Wide Area Network. Site Acceptance Testing of the capability was completed in January 2012. After a rigorous operational assessment in February and March, the Air Force officially declared the capability as operational.

Previous phases of the MMCS project increased the NSF’s off-continent communication bandwidth, integrated an alternate communications downlink Earth station in Australia to provide higher operational availability, and installed a new network infrastructure to provide data routing from McMurdo to each of the NASA Near-Earth Network and European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites MetOp satellite mission processing facilities.


McMurdo is the largest of the three year-round U.S. Antarctic Program research stations. The National Science Foundation manages this program and is responsible for coordinating all U.S. scientific research on the southernmost continent and aboard ships in the Southern Ocean, as well as related logistics support.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 90 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 71,000 people worldwide. For more about Raytheon, visit us at and follow us on Twitter at @raytheon.

Media Contact
Jared Adams

SpaceRef staff editor.