Ball Aerospace Ships Raytheon Sensor-Equipped NPOESS to Vandenberg
[Satellite TODAY 09-02-11] Ball Aerospace has shipped a NASA spacecraft carrying a climate and weather-monitoring sensor built by Raytheon to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation for its launch later this year, Raytheon announced Sept. 1.
The Ball Aerospace-built and -tested NASA NPOESS Preparatory Project spacecraft aims to provide advanced forecasting imagery as part of the next-generation U.S. weather satellite system. Raytheon’s Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor will operate on the NPOESS satellite as it flies in a polar orbit.
“VIIRS brings to bear the latest space-based environmental sensing technology to provide significantly improved weather and climate forecasting models. VIIRS combines the capabilities of several legacy operating systems into one technologically advanced instrument,” Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Vice President Bill Hart said in a statement.
Raytheon also is working under a NASA subcontract to develop, deploy, operate and maintain the Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System, which will support NPP as well as future JPSS spacecraft.