Raytheon's Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite on the Suomi NPP satellite lauded for "truly new" weather data

Raytheon's Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite on the Suomi NPP satellite
                     lauded for "truly new" weather data

Panel of leading meteorologists cite wide-ranging benefits, from improved data
for predicting weather to aiding relief workers

PR Newswire

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 11, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN)
Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite was the focus of a high-profile panel
discussion at this week's annual meeting of the American Meteorological
Society. The consensus among the panel's meteorologists: VIIRS is opening up
exciting new possibilities for weather and climate monitoring.

Commenting on VIIRS' unique day-night band, which enables the capture of
highly detailed imagery in extremely low-light conditions, Steve Miller, an
atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University's Cooperative Institute for
Research in the Atmosphere, said: "VIIRS allows us to use the moon as a
surrogate for the sun, providing visibility into nighttime weather and
atmospheric conditions with incredible detail never before possible. This
makes it a very powerful asset for operational forecasting."

In addition to Miller, the panel -- which was moderated by Shaima Nasiri,
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University -- included:

  oMitchell Goldberg, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Joint
    Polar Satellite System
  oKathleen Strabala, University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Institute for
    Meteorological Satellite Studies
  oGary Jedlovec, Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT)
    Project, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
  oThomas Lee, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
  oLawrence Friedl, NASA Headquarters, Applied Sciences Program

VIIRS was launched into orbit aboard the Suomi NPP satellite in October 2011.
Suomi NPP, a NASA-NOAA joint mission, is the precursor to a series of
spacecraft that will make up the NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System, which is
intended to provide critical weather and climate data for the next two
decades.

Strabala of the University of Wisconsin enumerated the technological
improvements encompassed in VIIRS over legacy systems, including increased
scan distance and greater consistency in resolution across each image scan. As
the scientific community continues to learn how to optimize its use of the
VIIRS data, Strabala indicated one drawback to the system: "We only have one
such instrument on orbit."

Jedlovec, SPoRT project lead at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, Ala., cited the critical role the VIIRS day-night band played in
the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. "The VIIRS nighttime imagery was provided
to disaster relief agencies and allowed emergency teams to expedite their
response to hurricane-ravaged areas," he said. "This unprecedented nighttime
perspective was a huge help to relief organizations trying to measure the
scope of impact."

NASA's Friedl noted that VIIRS is extending capabilities of current, aging
satellites, and showed assessments of how VIIRS data on the atmosphere and
oceans can support ongoing research and applications. "Data from VIIRS will
support a wide range of uses built up over the past decade benefitting
numerous economic sectors," he said.

Pointing to the ability to observe cloud formations, power outages, ship
lights, smoke and volcanic ash plumes, and other nighttime phenomenon in such
extraordinary detail, Colorado State's Miller said: "VIIRS gives us a new and
improved way of observing the nocturnal environment by virtue of significant
advancements in technology compared to legacy space systems. We've only
scratched the surface of what we believe we can do with this technology."

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion and 71,000 employees
worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense,
homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a
history of innovation spanning 90 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art
electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas
of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence
systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is
headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at
www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.

Note to Editors

VIIRS has made history by providing exciting new detailed images of Earth
during the day, called Blue Marble; and at night, called Black Marble.

Media Contact
John Barksdale
+1.310.658.9547
SASPR@Raytheon.com

SOURCE Raytheon Company

Website: http://www.raytheon.com
 
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