REDONDO BEACH, Calif., March 25, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- An advanced atmospheric sounding instrument being built for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) and the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) has successfully completed vibration testing. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is the prime contractor for NPOESS; ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT) is the subcontractor responsible for building the sensor.

The Sensor Level Vibration testing, which simulates the loads the instrument will experience during spacecraft test and launch, was successfully completed for the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument. The CrIS team, including ITT, Northrop Grumman, the NPOESS Integrated Program Office and NASA, spent a year working to ensure that this significant milestone would be met.

"The latest series of vibration tests successfully completes a concentrated engineering effort though coordinated teamwork to enhance CrIS' robustness," said Dave Ryan, sector vice president of Civil Systems for Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. "We're looking forward to meeting the next important milestone, the delivery of the sensor to NPP."

The CrIS is being prepared for delivery to meet the NPOESS and NPP mission objectives. One more environmental test remains before CrIS' delivery for integration on the NPP spacecraft. ITT will conduct thermal vacuum testing of the instrument at its facility in Fort Wayne, Ind.

"ITT is pleased that the development of the CrIS instrument is on track to meet the needs of the NPOESS in preparation for launch and deployment on the NPP spacecraft," said Rob Mitrevski, vice president of Commercial and Space Science for ITT Space Systems Division. "This highly sensitive instrument is demonstrating strong performance."

CrIS will provide accurate, detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations for weather and climate applications. Forecasters use temperature and moisture-sounding data in advanced numerical weather prediction models to improve both global and regional predictions of weather patterns, storm tracks, and precipitation.

ITT Corporation ( ) is a diversified high-technology engineering and manufacturing company dedicated to creating more livable environments, enabling communications and providing protection and safety. Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., the company generated $9 billion in 2007 sales.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $32 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Sally Koris
          Northrop Grumman Corporation

          Irene Lockwood
          ITT Corporation