Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected by ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT) to provide flight cryocoolers for the sensor payloads for two international weather satellites. The geostationary satellites will provide round-the-clock weather forecasts and severe weather alerts. Cryocoolers are used to reduce thermal noise in space-based sensors.
The Northrop Grumman cooler design is based on the flight-proven High Efficiency Cryocooler (HEC) pulse tube cooler and will maintain the international satellites’ infrared detectors and optics at cryogenic temperatures for more than 8 years.
The ITT sensor payloads will be based on the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) that ITT is currently building for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R-series, or GOES-R, for NOAA’s next-generation geostationary constellation. This improved imager has the capability to monitor three times the number of atmospheric events when compared to current generation payloads.
“With 16 cryocoolers now in orbit, two operating continuously for more than 11 years, our heritage cryocoolers and electronics are demonstrating unmatched reliability and performance in space, ” said Mark Folkman, director of Products and Sensing for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. This contract marks the third time a Northrop Grumman cryocooler will have supported an international weather/climate satellite.