ROCHESTER, N.Y., 7 Feb. 2009.ITT Corp. executives revealed that the NOAA-N Prime weather satellite, which launched aboard the ULA Delta II 7320-10C from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carries three sounding instruments; among them is ITT's High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS/4). The satellite also boasts two radiometers, including ITT's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR/3).
When fully operational, NOAA-N Prime will continually collect Earth's weather data, including atmosphere, surface, and cloud cover.
The HIRS/4 is used to obtain measurements determining ocean surface temperatures, total atmospheric ozone levels, cloud height and coverage, and surface radiance. This fourth-generation HIRS is a 20-channel sounder that sport a fifth Internal Warm Target (IWT) temperature sensor and a tertiary telescope sensor able to calibrate atmospheric profile data and radiometric data at 40 different atmospheric levels.
The AVHRR/3 is the operational imager for global weather data. The AVHRR/3 is a six multispectral channel radiometer, up from a four-channel in its original form. The additional channels have contributed to improvements in performance and operational capabilities, as well as improved spectral performance such as low-light energy detection, snow/ice discrimination, and global vegetation index.
The ITT Space Systems Division developed this third-generation AVHRR for NOAA-15, launched in May 1998. The system is also on board MetOP-1, Europe's first meteorological operational polar orbiting satellite.
"This weather satellite benefits from our significant expertise, including over 30 years of HIRS and AVHRR development and implementation on the TIROS-N series," says Rob Mitrevski, vice president and director of Commercial and Space Sciences, ITT Space Systems Division. "The innovative capabilities on HIRS and AVHRR will provide improved data for meteorologists to better monitor and predict weather and other climate and environmental activities. "