Northrop Grumman Corp. has recently hit a key marker in weather forecasting with its launch of the advanced technology microwave sounder on the NPOESS Preparatory Project mission. The project provides weather forecasters with improved insight into the distribution of atmospheric moisture and temperature.
Northrop’s ATMS was integrated into NPP in 2006 and provides improved sampling rate, spatial resolution, increased earth surface coverage and additional channels that span the frequency band from 23.8 GHz to 183.3 GHz.
Dr. Steve Toner, vice president of Northrop Grumman’s overhead persistent infrared and Azusa programs business unit, described ATMS as the “next generation of civil space instruments” that he sees as a part of additional future weather satellites.
“After having ATMS on the spacecraft for five years, we are anxious to receive the first on-orbit data and evaluate our instrument’s performance,” said Steve Opel, Northrop Grumman program manager for civil space programs at Azusa. “This data is essential as we build and test future units for the operational satellite constellations. The all-weather capability of ATMS will help agencies improve their forecasting abilities.”