ITT Industries has been awarded a $113 million contract by TRW to produce three high technology, space-based measurement instruments to improve weather forecasting worldwide.
The instrument, known as the Cross Track Infrared Sounders (CrIS) provides improved measurements of temperature and moisture in the earth's atmosphere. Forecasters use this data to help improve both global and regional predictions of weather patterns and storm tracks.
ITT Industries has been developing technology for space-based sensors and payloads for more than a quarter century. Its Imagers and Sounders form the backbone of the US weather forecasting system and its navigation payloads are at the heart of GPS.
The CrIS has several new advanced technology applications ITT has developed for existing and future programs. It includes one of the first space applications of a Michelson Interferometer.
This scientific tool is used to split light into hundreds of spectral channels and allows for more precise measurements of the earth's atmosphere at various altitudes.
Current technology permits measurement in only a few channels while CrIS will measure 1300. This provides a major improvement in the quality of data used by forecasters to predict the weather.
The NPOESS Integrated Program Office recently named TRW as the prime contractor with Shared System Performance Responsibility (SSPR) for developing the new National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS).
As SSPR, TRW has end-to-end responsibility for providing complete packages of data to support mission requirements of both the Departments of Commerce and Defense.
CrIS is scheduled to begin flying on-board NASA's NPOESS Preparatory Project spacecraft beginning in 2006. The mission will aid in the merging of missions of the current civil Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites with those of the military's Defense Meteorological Satellite System.
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MSG-1 Weather Satellite Ready For Commissioning
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