ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT) announced today that its latest weather sensors have successfully launched into space. Designed and built by ITT’s Space Systems business, the imager and sounder instruments were launched on June 26, 2009 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-O (GOES-O). These core instruments provide crucial data to the National Weather Service for severe weather forecasting. Images from ITT’s weather satellite instruments are seen on U.S. television newscasts every day, and are essential for tracking and forecasting hurricanes and other severe weather.
Built for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), ITT’s imager and sounder are the primary payload instruments that reside on the current generation of GOES.
“We are extremely proud to have our second generation and seventh overall imager and sounder instrument sets in space and look forward to seeing them operational in orbit,” said Rob Mitrevski, vice president and director of commercial and space sciences for ITT’s Space Systems business.
GOES-O is the second of three in the current series of geostationary weather and environmental satellites. GOES satellites provide a constant vigil from geostationary orbit protecting lives and property by sensing the atmospheric “triggers” for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.
The ITT-built GOES imager and sounder instruments provide images and data about atmospheric temperature, moisture levels, surface and cloud top temperatures and many other critical meteorological measurements that will be used to improve short-term weather forecasts.
Next Generation Prototype Successfully Integrated
ITT also recently announced the successful integration of the next generation prototype model for NOAA’s upcoming geostationary satellite series. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) will provide significant technological improvements to current instruments. ABI will monitor and measure atmospheric conditions with three times more information than currently measured and will provide twice the clarity of images down to 0.5 kilometers.
ABI can also make severe weather data and images available to weather forecasters every 30 seconds rather than the current rate of every 7.5 minutes, and can provide full earth disc images in five minutes rather than the current rate of 30 minutes. Also, for the first time, NOAA will be able to zoom in to track a specific storm while still collecting data and images from across the country. Together, these advancements will provide more accurate and localized forecasts, thereby improving predictions of a storm’s development, path, and intensity, saving lives in the process.
ABI will also be useful in studying and monitoring climate change. Datasets from ABI on sea-surface temperature, cloud coverage and solar radiance, and ABI’s ability to help calibrate and validate other climate instruments will be another significant tool for scientists.
ITT’s Space Systems business has a long heritage of developing space borne meteorological instruments dating back to 1960, including the low-earth orbiting Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) program, Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instruments, High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) instruments, GOES I through M series of imager and sounder instruments, and the next generation Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) for the GOES-R meteorological satellites, scheduled to launch in 2015.
ITT provides innovative remote sensing and navigation solutions to customers in the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA National Weather Service, intelligence, space science and commercial aerospace to help them visualize and understand critical events happening on Earth, in the air, or in space in time to take effective action. Leveraging comprehensive capabilities, ITT’s solutions span from image and data collection through processing and dissemination. Key applications include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; high-resolution commercial imaging; space science; climate and environmental monitoring; GPS navigation; image and data processing and dissemination; and space control and missile defense. www.ssd.itt.com
About ITT Corporation
ITT Corporation is a high-technology engineering and manufacturing company operating on all seven continents in three vital markets: water and fluids management, global defense and security, and motion and flow control. With a heritage of innovation, ITT partners with its customers to deliver extraordinary solutions that create more livable environments, provide protection and safety and connect our world. Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., the company generated 2008 sales of $11.7 billion. www.itt.com