REDONDO BEACH, Calif., April 15, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- As Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) prepares to observe the sixth anniversary of excellent on-orbit performance of NASA's Aqua spacecraft, the company announced it has submitted a proposal to NASA to design and develop the next generation of satellites that will continuously monitor the earth and its environment from a geostationary orbit.
Northrop Grumman's proposal for the Geostationary Environmental Operational Satellite -- Series R (GOES-R) builds on its extensive experience designing, developing and integrating research and operational environmental spacecraft and sensors for NASA and NOAA. This includes the Aqua and Aura Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites and the next generation environmental satellite system, National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). The GOES-R space segment is being procured by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and will be operated by NOAA.
"Our EOS satellites are highly reliable, precision pointing platforms specifically designed to accommodate challenging environmental sensing instruments," said Alexis Livanos, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the company's Space Technology sector. "This designed-for-the-mission approach has proved itself as EOS Aqua and Aura have performed well on orbit and are expected to last well beyond their design lives."
Northrop Grumman has performed trade studies and risk reduction on GOES-R for the past four years under study contract and internal resources. The company brings considerable knowledge of the GOES system and requirements to the proposal.
"The GOES-R series of spacecraft must have exceptional reliability and long life in order to ensure continuity of geostationary weather coverage through 2039," said David Ryan, vice president and division general manager for Civil Systems at Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. "We at Northrop Grumman are very proud of our successful legacy of delivering long-lived GEO spacecraft for nearly four decades. On average, our satellites have lasted about two-and-a-half times their design life -- a standard unmatched in our industry."
The GOES-R series represents a significant technological advancement over the earlier GOES spacecraft in terms of system availability, precision pointing, capacity and the quality and quantity of meteorological and environmental data. For example, one of the major instruments, the Advanced Baseline Imager, will produce higher precision images and output high fidelity data at a rate roughly 25 times greater than previous GOES generations.
Built by Northrop Grumman for NASA Goddard, Aqua was launched on May 4, 2002. The second in NASA's series of EOS spacecraft, Aqua is collecting data about the Earth's water cycle, including evaporation from the oceans, water vapor in the atmosphere, clouds, precipitation, soil moisture, sea ice, land ice, and snow cover on the land and ice.
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 Space Technology 310.812.4721 firstname.lastname@example.org