REDONDO BEACH, Calif., March 12, 2009 -- Speaking at the 47th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium, Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Robert Burke, vice president of Civil Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector, called for robust, sustained solutions for a comprehensive global climate monitoring system.
Burke's remarks are available at: http://www.northropgrumman.com/presentations/index.html
In a speech outlining the challenges the world faces in dealing with global climate change, Burke said climate change is one of the most pressing and controversial issues of our times. Understanding the changes the Earth is experiencing, he said, requires a systematic approach to monitoring the climate, and he called for the creation of a Global Change Monitoring System (GCMS).
A GCMS would integrate four systems, observations, data handling, computing/modeling, and decision support to provide comprehensive, coordinated and sustained solutions. "Global monitoring is a systems challenge," said Burke.
Burke noted that developing such a system during an economic downturn means funding is limited and the aerospace industry must strive to develop innovative concepts for Earth sensing, utilizing new platform opportunities and new instrument architectures and technology. A good example is the use of Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles by NASA and NOAA in a long-duration mission campaign to collect atmospheric data.
"While our science community has made impressive progress, there's still a lot we don't understand, and mitigating uncertainty is essential," Burke said. "So how do we get there from here? It would be to plan a portfolio of missions capable of essential measurements, while benefiting from innovation to reduce risks and costs. This approach is not only crucial looking forward for the next decade, but well beyond."
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