ITT Industries has been awarded a $113 million contract by TRW to produce three space-based measurement instruments to improve weather forecasting worldwide.
The instrument, known as Cross Track Infrared Sounders (CrIS) is said to provide improved measurements of temperature and moisture in the earth’s atmosphere.
The CrIS has several new advanced technology applications, including one of the first space applications of a Michelson Interferometer.
The Michelson Interferometer is used to split light into hundreds of spectral channels and allows for more precise measurements of the earth’s atmosphere at various altitudes. Current technology permits measurement in only a few channels while CrIS will measure 1300.
CrIS is scheduled to begin flying on-board NASA’s National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (NPOESS) Preparatory Project spacecraft beginning in 2006. The mission will aid in the merging of missions of the current civil Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites with those of the US military’s Defence Meteorological Satellite System.
NPOESS Integrated Program Office recently named TRW as the prime contractor with Shared System Performance Responsibility (SSPR) for developing the new NPOESS.
As SSPR, TRW has end-to-end responsibility for providing complete packages of data to support mission requirements of both the Departments of Commerce and Defence.