September 2006 – The National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) command, control and communications segment acceptance testing recently reached completion two months early.
The achievement clears the way for the NPP, a mission jointly managed by the NPOESS Integrated Program Office (IPO) and NASA to fly early versions of key sensors and test the ground segments to reduce risks for the operational NPOESS. Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems teams played a key role in the results of the tests.
“The Raytheon-developed system performed extremely well and testing detected only a handful of minor discrepancies,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Dan Stockton, NPOESS system program director. “The program baseline schedule had C3S SAT completing on October 27, 2006.” The segment acceptance testing ran for 23 days in August. “Almost four years of design and development led to this crucial and very successful testing,” said Mike Mader, Vice President and NPOESS program lead for Raytheon. “A very stable software baseline coupled with an experienced and resourceful Raytheon-IPO testing team allowed us to complete the SAT almost two months early.”
Raytheon is part of the Northrop Grumman Space Technology NPOESS team. NPOESS is a satellite system that will be used to monitor global environmental conditions and collect and disseminate data related to weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environments. NPOESS will converge existing polar-orbiting satellite systems under a single national program.
NPOESS data are vital for future weather analysis and forecasting to support military operations, civil applications and scientific research. The testing was conducted at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite operations facility in Suitland, Maryland.