NPOESS development touches new milestone

NPOESS development touches new milestone

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El Segundo, California, USA, 9 May 2006 – Raytheon Company’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) advanced sensor engineering development unit (EDU) has entered thermal vacuum testing, achieving another milestone for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS).

The testing occurs in one of Raytheon’s space-qualified thermal vacuum chambers, which replicates the extreme heat and freezing cold cycles that spacecraft and sensors experience in space. This third and final stage of testing is expected to be completed by mid-summer. Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) business is under contract to design and develop the VIIRS EDU, the most advanced weather operational imaging sensor ever made, and to deliver three flight units with options for four more for NPOESS prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corp.

VIIRS will collect visible/infrared imagery and radiometric data on the atmosphere, clouds, earth radiation budget, clear-air land/water surfaces, sea surface temperature, ocean color, and low-light visible imagery. The sensor will offer dramatic spatial, spectral and radiometric performance improvements compared with current operational capabilities.