Antenna contract for Raytheon

Raytheon has received approval of its environmental assessment from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) for precision placement of two data-receipt antennae in Antarctica.

The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environment Satellite System (NPOESS) Safety Net will be installed at the McMurdoBay research station.

This milestone will enable construction to begin on the NPOESS antennae, or receptor sites, in McMurdo during the 2007-2008 Southern Hemisphere summer. With the harsh weather and remote polar environment, antennae placement is difficult, and requires careful planning.

NPOESS will monitor global environmental conditions and collect and disseminate data related to weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environment. SafetyNet, a major feature of the NPOESS ground system, is a unique and innovative network of 15 data-receipt antennae sites and fibre- optic communications around the world.

SafetyNet will provide the time-critical NPOESS data to civil, military and science users in fewer than 30 minutes, compared to current data delivery for US polar-orbiting weather satellite systems, which requires more than two hours. The optimum for weather forecasting is to have the most minimal data delivery time possible, increasing the ability to forecast weather in a more timely and accurate manner.

Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems is part of the Northrop Grumman Corporation-NPOESS team. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor and has overall responsibility for the programme development effort.