KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., June 13, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Three powerful radars supplied by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) provided valuable data about debris during this week's liftoff of the space shuttle Atlantis from Launch Pad 39A in support of STS-117, a mission to deliver truss segment and solar arrays to the International Space Station. These highly sensitive radars are key components of NASA's overall Debris Radar System -- an important tool that helps NASA officials determine if significant debris impacted and potentially damaged the orbiter during launch.
In addition to the radars, Northrop Grumman engineers provided real-time monitoring and immediate analysis of the radar data, just after launch. This analysis helps NASA accurately assess the damage potential of debris near-misses and reported impacts to the orbiter so that any necessary repairs can be made and the orbiter can safely return home after its mission is complete.
"Northrop Grumman is proud of this innovative application of radar technology and analysis techniques, which provides NASA an increased ability to assess the potential for debris damage and enhances space shuttle flight safety," said Frank Moore, vice president of the Missile Defense Division for Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector.
The STS-117 mission marks the fifth time the Debris Radar System, supported by a team of Northrop Grumman engineers and subcontractors, has observed a shuttle launch. Northrop Grumman is responsible for integrating the radars and providing engineers to conduct complex data analysis under the U.S. Air Force National Intelligence Center's HAVE GOLD program, a broad task-order contract providing engineering services in support of ballistic missile flight test and data collection analysis.
One of the Debris Radar System elements supplied by Northrop Grumman is a large, land-based, 50-ft. C-band radar, located north of the Kennedy Space Center. It is owned by the U.S. Navy TRIDENT Strategic Systems Program, a key component of the nation's nuclear deterrent effort. The other two elements are NASA Mobile Debris Monitoring Systems integrated onto two marine vessels. These two elements each feature a Weibel Multi-Frequency Tracking Radar 2100/46 X-band Doppler continuous wave radar system. The X-band system is designed for rapid integration onto ship-based mobile platforms.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: George I. Seffers Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (703) 345-8548 firstname.lastname@example.org Marynoele Benson Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (703) 345-6734 email@example.com