Ball Aerospace and Technologies reports that the fourth of five weather instruments that will fly aboard the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) has been successfully integrated.
Ball Aerospace concluded integration of the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on March 5. Instruments integrated earlier include the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder; the Cloud and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System; and the Ball Aerospace Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS). Integration of the Cross-track Infrared Sounder later this year will complete the spacecraft instrument suite.
“The efficient and successful integration of VIIRS onboard the NPP spacecraft required complex choreography and exemplary coordination of the spacecraft, satellite, and instrument partners, as well as the science team,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for the Ball Aerospace Civil and Operational Space business unit. “This marks another milestone in the steady progress being made in preparing for a 2011 launch.”
NPP, a joint program between NASA and the Integrated Program Office, will provide continuity of data with NASA’s Earth Observing System and will provide proof of concept for the nation’s next generation low-Earth orbiting operational weather and climate monitoring system.
The VIIRS sensor will collect visible and infrared imagery and radiometric data about the atmosphere, clouds, earth’s radiation, land/water surfaces, sea surface temperature, ocean color and other types of environmental data.
In addition to OMPS, Ball Aerospace built the NPP spacecraft, under contract to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.