Raytheon Technologies‘ has received a contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to assess a new methodology for environmental imaging in geostationary orbit.
The Real Time Imager design study will explore an approach that is based on the “step-and-stare” method and meant to increase data collection efficiency in vast areas of Earth, the company said Tuesday.
RTI features a day-night spectral band and seeks to observe storms across the planet’s whole disk anytime at a visible wavelength.
“With this method, we can cover the entire continental U.S. in much less than a minute,” said Jeff Puschell, principal engineering fellow of space systems at Raytheon Technologies’ intelligence and space business.
“Once we take an image, we’ll have all of the data to the ground within seconds – giving meteorologists and forecasters a more complete data-set faster than what they have today.”
The company added it will review two trade studies of different architectures that utilize uncooled and cooled infrared detectors. Both research efforts will build on programs under the RI&S business, including the Europa Thermal Emission Imaging System and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite.
NOAA plans to apply data from the design study to future observing system-related projects.