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LockMart Wins Gore-Cam Camera
Palo Alto - November 3, 1998 - The Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space Advanced Technology Center (ATC) has been selected by the University of California San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography to design and build the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) for NASA's Triana mission, to be led by Dr. Francisco P.J. Valero from Scripps.

"This opportunity to provide the EPIC for Triana allows us to bring a long heritage of space imaging instruments to the service of this important remote sensing mission to planet Earth," says co-investigator Dr. Jack Doolittle, the instrument implementation team leader at the ATC.

The Triana satellite concept will place a high definition television camera -- paired with a 12-inch telescope -- into an orbit at a unique vantage point a million miles from Earth where it will provide 24-hour views of the home planet. It will orbit about a point in space where the gravitational attraction of the Sun and the Earth on a satellite are essentially balanced, allowing it to be suspended above the Earth to constantly view the fully sunlit hemisphere.

The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) will acquire in six optical bands, with a resolution of six kilometers per pixel and six infrared bands, with a resolution of 24 kilometers per pixel. Appropriate channels can be chosen to highlight various features on the land and oceans as well as in the atmosphere. A minimum of 500 images each day will allow scientists to closely monitor changing features and rapidly build up a large database of changes over time.

"We are very pleased with this contract because Triana offers several unprecedented opportunities for examining aspects of the Earth not presently accessible from low Earth orbit or geostationary satellites," says co-investigator Dr. Keith Hutchison, EPIC instrument scientist at the ATC. "Indeed, we believe that the remote sensing instrumentation we will design and build at the ATC will provide never before available observations of dynamic aspects of atmospheric aerosols and clouds, regional ecological responses on short time scales, and ocean color variability.

"Multispectral images and broadband radiometry from Triana offer an exciting opportunity to look, for the first time, at the Earth as a planet," continues Hutchison. "Understanding the Earth's bulk and thermodynamic properties as an open system, exchanging energy with the Sun and space, is a fundamental scientific goal of climatology."

The concept for the Triana mission was first conceived in February 1998. The small satellite will be linked to Earth through three simple, low-cost ground stations equally spaced around the globe to provide continuous downlink capability. One new image in each wavelength band would be downlinked every few minutes. The name of the mission comes from Juan Rodriguez Bermejo de Triana, a lookout on Christopher Columbus' flagship the Santa Maria. It was he who, on October 12, 1492, first sighted the New World.

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