Northrop to Build GOES-R Cryocoolers; Webb Telescope Sunshield Clears Testing
[Satellite TODAY 02-04-10] Northrop Grumman has been selected by ITT Corp. to provide flight cryocoolers for the sensor payloads on two international geostationary weather satellites, Northrop Grumman announced Feb. 3.
The cryocoolers will be used to reduce thermal noise on the satellites’ space-based sensors. The ITT sensor payloads will be based on the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) that ITT is building for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R-series (GOES-R).
The improved imager aims to provide the capability to monitor three times the number of atmospheric events when compared to current generation payloads.
Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.
Separately, Northrop Grumman announced that the sunshield for the James Webb Space Telescope has passed its critical design review. The design for the telescope, which Northrop is building for NASA under a contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center, is now certified as meeting NASA’s mission requirements.
The completion of the sunshield’s testing phase has cleared Northrop Grumman to begin manufacturing the unit.