Northrop Grumman, the provider of security solutions such as cybersecurity, C4ISR, unmanned and missile systems, has announced that the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) sensor deployed aboard the NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite has delivered the initial images.
The Flight Model 5 (FM5) CERES unit on the Suomi satellite is the sixth CERES instrument that has been launched on NASA platforms, including the Earth Observing System (EOS) TERRA, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and EOS AQUA. Two CERES instruments are carried by the AQUA and TERRA platforms. The CERES instruments are radiometers capable of calculating the amount of sunlight reflected and the thermal energy emitted by the planet and the atmosphere.
Scientists utilize the CERES equipment to gather data and constantly monitor the Earth’s temperature and validate models to determine the effect of clouds on cooling and heating of the planet. Scientists use the data transmitted by CERES to get a deeper understanding of the planet’s radiation budget to determine long-term global temperature changes. Temperature changes can lead to extended growing seasons, enlarged deserts and cold zones and lead to an increase or decrease in arable land area.
The Director of sensor products at the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Mark Folkman stated that the CERES plays a critical role in the collection of data records to aid researchers monitor the planet’s changing climate.
The FM5 is currently in the final testing and will be the first completed device for the advanced polar-orbiting environmental satellites. The FM5 is likely to be delivered by June 2012.