Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has integrated successfully the fourth out of five instruments onboard the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP).
The integration of the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) was completed by Ball Aerospace on March 5, 2010.
Earlier Ball Aerospace had integrated three instruments on board the satellite system, which include the Ball Aerospace Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS), the Cloud and Earth's Radiant Energy System, and the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder.
Cary Ludtke, the General Manager and President for the business unit of Ball Aerospace Civil and Operational Space, informed that VIIRS was successfully and efficiently integrated onboard the NPP spacecraft through perfect coordination between the science team and the instrument, satellite, and spacecraft partners. Ludtke revealed that the effort is an important step towards preparation for a launch of the spacecraft in 2011.
As a combined program between the Integrated Program Office and the NASA, NPP will facilitate data continuity with the Earth Observing System of NASA and will also offer proof of concept for the state-of-the-art low-Earth orbiting, climate monitoring, and operational weather system of the nation.
Infrared and visible imagery and radiometric information related to the atmosphere, environment, ocean color, sea water temperature, earth’s radiation, and clouds will be collected by the VIIRS sensor.
Besides the OMPS, Ball Aerospace has constructed the NPP spacecraft as part of a contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA.