Nation’s Newest Advanced Polar Operational Environmental Satellite Being Readied for Launch
Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES), is being prepared for launch
from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket
Space Systems Company Sunnyvale facility.
NOAA-N Prime is the latest and final spacecraft in the Advanced TIROS-N
(ATN) satellite series. All have been designed and built for the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by Lockheed Martin since the first
Television and Infrared Observational Satellite (TIROS) weather satellite
longer than originally expected, earning them a reputation as the workhorse of
the civil space Earth-imaging inventory.
“This team has been totally dedicated to providing NASA and NOAA with
satellites to extend NOAA’s ability to provide environmental data products to
users, and reaching this milestone is always very satisfying,” says
partnership with our NASA and NOAA customers is a source of genuine pride for
A constellation consists of two POES satellites circling the planet in
nearly north-south orbits. As the Earth rotates, the entire globe, one swath
at a time rolls into view of the satellites’ instruments. The instruments are
continually sensing the entire depth of the atmosphere and report on the
following environmental measurements:
-- Atmosphere Temperatures and Moisture Soundings -- Sea-surface Temperatures -- Land-surface Temperatures -- Cloud Cover and Heights -- Precipitable Moisture -- Total Ozone -- Clear Radiance -- Incoming and Radiated Heat
Together these data comprise irreplaceable inputs to the numerical weather
forecast model and are vital to weather and climate forecasting. Separately or
in combination, the data are utilized to produce sea-surface temperature maps,
ice condition charts, snow cover analysis, vegetation maps and other
forecasting and management tools.
Additionally, NOAA-N Prime carries an enhanced complement of microwave
instruments for the generation of temperature, moisture, surface, and
hydrological products in cloudy regions where visible and infrared instruments
have diminished capability. NOAA-N Prime also carries search and rescue
instruments that are used internationally for locating ships, aircraft, and
people in distress. The use of satellites in search and rescue has been
instrumental in saving more than 24,500 lives since the inception of the
Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT) system.
The NOAA-N Prime satellite will operate in a circular, near-polar orbit of
464 nautical miles above the Earth with an inclination angle of 98.73 degrees
to the equator. Its orbital period, which is the time it takes to complete one
orbit of the Earth, will be approximately 102.14 minutes.
The NOAA-N Prime orbit is sun-synchronous, rotating eastward about the
Earth’s polar axis 0.986 degrees each day, approximately the same rate and
direction as the Earth’s average daily rotation about the sun. The rotation
keeps the satellite in a constant position with reference to the sun for
constant scene illumination throughout the year.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in
the procurement, development, launch services, and verification testing of the
spacecraft, instruments, and unique ground equipment. Following deployment of
the spacecraft from the launch vehicle, Goddard is responsible for the mission
operation phase leading to injection of the satellite into orbit and initial
in-orbit satellite checkout and evaluation.
Following the launch and a comprehensive on-orbit verification period that
lasts 45 days, NASA will turn operational control of the satellites over to
NOAA. NOAA will operate the satellites from the Satellite Operations Control
satellites that it operates.
NOAA’s environmental satellite system is composed of two types of
satellites: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) for
national, regional, short-range warning and “now-casting”; and Polar
Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) for global, long-term forecasting
and environmental monitoring. Both GOES and POES are necessary for providing a
complete global weather monitoring system. Both also carry search and rescue
instruments to relay signals from people in distress.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed
Martin Corporation, designs and develops, tests, manufactures and operates a
full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security and
military, civil government and commercial customers. Chief products include
human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation,
meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space
observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; ballistic missiles;
and missile defense systems; and nanotechnology research and development.
During its five decades of service to the international space community, Space
Systems Company has produced some 900 spacecraft, including 380 classified
missions and over 150 small satellites.
security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is
principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture,
integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and
services. The corporation reported 2007 sales of
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SOURCE Lockheed Martin