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Raytheon sensor passes space simulation test

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., USA, Jan. 16, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — A sensor developed by Raytheon Company to increase understanding of how aerosols affect climate has shown in a test it would neither emit nor experience interference from electromagnetic impulses it might encounter in space.

Also having completed vibration testing satisfactorily, the Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor has begun another test regimen intended to prove it can operate successfully for at least three years in the rigors of temperature and vacuum in space. This is the third and final phase of the environmental test regime, which the company is conducting at its manufacturing facility in El Segundo, Calif.

The sensor is designed to monitor the climate for three years from NASA’s Glory satellite, expected to be launched later this year. Raytheon anticipates completing the tests in time to deliver the sensor to NASA during the first quarter of 2009. “Our sensor faces a mission of great importance,” said Jon Jones, president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. “The test results reinforce our confidence it will be up to the task.”

Equipping the sensor are 185 optical elements, including six precision-aligned telescopes. The unit is designed to distinguish and characterise various aerosols and accurately measure their global distribution and lifetime.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems is a leading provider of sensor systems giving military forces the most accurate and timely actionable information available for the network-centric battlefield. With 2007 revenues of $4.3 billion and 12,000 employees, SAS is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif.