NPOESS Imager Delivered

This week, while the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System was a hot topic at the AMS Annual Meeting, Northrop Grumman delivered a critical NPOESS sensor, the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).
The VIIRS aboard NPOESS will provide highly detailed imagery of clouds, vegetation, snow cover, dust storms, and other environmental phenomena.
“The delivery of VIIRS enables us to move ahead on an advanced system consisting of spacecraft, sensors, and a ground segment that is already well underway,” said Dave Vandervoet, NPOESS program manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.  “This program made terrific progress last year, and the vast majority of the development risk is behind us now.  The sensor that was delivered will be integrated on to the NPOESS Preparatory Project spacecraft, which will be launched next year.”
Raytheon built the instrument under contract to NPOESS prime contractor, Northrop Grumman.
A second VIIRS flight unit scheduled for deployment on the first NPOESS spacecraft, known as C1, is progressing as well.
For samples of next-generation satellite imagery from NPOESS, check out the NexSat web page from Naval Research Labs in Monterey, which was described in the April 2006 issue of BAMS.

Image from NexSat.