Monday, March 08, 2010

GOES-P Weather Satellite Instruments Launched Successfully

ITT Corporation announced today two of its weather sensors were successfully launched into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. ITT's Geospatial Systems team in Fort Wayne, Ind. designed and built the imager and sounder instruments flying on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P (GOES-P). ITT has built the imagers and sounders for all NOAA geostationary satellites since 1990.

"We are extremely proud of the work of our people and the amazing quality of these instruments. We recognize the trust the nation has put in us and appreciate the fact that our imagers and sounders continue to be an integral part of our nation's weather forecast ability, especially for severe weather," said Rob Mitrevski, vice president, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance programs at ITT Geospatial Systems.

GOES-P is the last of the current generation of weather and environmental satellites built for NOAA in cooperation with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. After reaching geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above the United States, GOES-P will undergo six months of extensive post-launch testing prior to being parked on-orbit and ready to be activated when the next GOES satellite needs to be replaced.

In addition to producing the now-familiar weather pictures seen daily on U.S. newscasts, GOES satellites provide early warnings of severe weather conditions like tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes. The satellites provide meteorologists with nearly continuous images as well as temperature and moisture data, enabling more accurate weather forecasts. GOES data are also used for climate/weather prediction models, ocean temperature charting, ice, snow and glacier mapping, land temperature measurement and monitoring agricultural crop conditions.

ITT has been designing and building space-borne meteorological instruments for nearly 50 years and is currently working with NOAA and NASA to build GOES-R. This next-generation environmental satellite will include the most advanced meteorological imaging instrument ever built for operational weather forecasting, the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI).

ABI will monitor three times the number of atmospheric conditions currently measured and produce images that can discern objects as small as one-half kilometer in size. ABI is also much faster; updating data every 30 seconds versus the current rate of 7.5 minutes. At that speed, ABI can create a full-earth image in five minutes versus 30 minutes for the current imagers. ABI also will zoom in and track a single storm while simultaneously collecting continent-wide data and imagery. All of these improvements add up to faster and more accurate forecasts, improved hazardous weather tracking and an increased capability to study and monitor climate change.


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