EL SEGUNDO, Calif., 19 Dec. 2008.Raytheon Company has received confirmation from NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization that a water-detecting sensor system on the Chandrayaan-1 lunar-orbiting spacecraft has been activated and is functional, extending Raytheon's 40-year record of start-up success.
Data collected during an initial checkout will be used to calibrate the sensor.
Under contract to the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Raytheon Company provided the antenna, transmitter, analog receiver, and software for the sensor system to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which then integrated the sensor system with the spacecraft. The company also supplied system engineering, integration, and test support.
The system is designed to detect water at depths up to several meters in the frozen regions of the lunar poles. Operational data retrieval will begin several months after initial calibration to allow other on-board optical payloads to take advantage of favorable solar illumination conditions during the early phase of the program, says a representative.