New York, USA 17 August 2006: ITT, the New York based company providing products and services in many markets, including equipment for water and wastewater treatment and industrial processes, defense electronics and services, has announced that the GOES-N satellite, in orbit 22,300 miles above the equator and carrying primary payload instruments produced by ITT’s Space Systems Division, has transmitted its first visible and infrared (IR) images of Earth.
The GOES-N, now called GOES-13, is the latest in a series of Earth-monitoring Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites built for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It was launched on May 24 aboard a Boeing Delta IV rocket, reached orbit on May 31, and, after a period of testing, transmitted its initial visible image on June 22 and is now providing both visible and infrared images.
The GOES array of satellites monitors the Earth’s atmosphere in visible and infrared wavelengths. By measuring moisture content and tracking weather systems, they provide data to meteorologists to help improve the accuracy of forecasts.
As a contractor to NASA on the GOES-N project, ITT built the imager and sounder that acquire the high-resolution visible and infrared data, as well as temperature and moisture profiles of the atmosphere. “ITT is proud to be part of yet another successful GOES mission,” said Chris Young, President of the Space Systems Division. “ITT’s imager and sounder aboard GOES-13 continually transmit data to ground terminals for processing and broadcasting to weather service offices through the Western Hemisphere.”
The ITT imager and sounder provide two valuable features — (1) flexible scan and (2) simultaneous and independent imaging and sounding. Flexible scan offers small-scale area imaging that allows meteorologists to take pictures of local weather trouble spots in order to improve short-term forecasts over local areas. Simultaneous and independent imaging and sounding enhances forecast accuracy by providing multiple measurements of weather phenomena.
The imager senses radiant energy and reflected solar energy from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. It can detect changes in temperature and variations in low-level moisture, and it can track hurricanes from their earliest formation as a tropical wave. It allows meteorologists to issue warnings about high-velocity winds or winter storms well in advance of their occurrence.
The multi-spectral sounder uses sensors to collect and identify fluctuations within the Earth’s atmosphere. These variations provide critically important data for computer models that help produce mid- and long- range forecasts.