Tuesday, July 31, 2007

NPOESS Program Restructured

WASHINGTON - The Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced today that they have restructured the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). This $ 4.2 billion modification of the Northrop Grumman Space Technology contract culminates a rigorous year long effort to re-plan virtually every aspect of the NPOESS program following its certification through the Nunn McCurdy process in 2006. The plan details the development and delivery of the system through initial production in the next decade.

This extensive re-planning was a joint effort between the three agencies, which comprise the NPOESS Integrated Program Office and Northrop Grumman Space Technology. The schedule delivers sensors to the NPOESS Preparatory Project to support a 2009 launch, and calls for the launch of the first NPOESS satellite in 2013.

The restructured contract puts in place a "back to basics" approach with management controls and reporting requirements which will ensure strict oversight of the contractor. The fee structure is now more objective through the inclusion of incentives for cost, schedule and technical performance.

"This is the most extensive and rigorous planning process I have ever witnessed," said Gary Davis, the Program Executive Officer for Environmental Satellites. "This restructured program will provide the meteorological community with the exceptional performance that they require to maintain the quality forecasting capability that the American public has come to expect."

NPOESS maintains the capability to restore sensors that were removed during the Nunn-McCurdy process, through sponsorship and cooperative agreements. The program has also been restructured to allow sufficient time for integration of the de-manifested sensors.

Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, Calif., is being awarded a cost-plus-award-fee with multiple incentives contract modification for $2,346,892,272. The $4.2 billion includes residual value on the contract.

The re-baselined NPOESS system consists of two spacecraft, nine sensors and associated calibration and validation (including NPOESS Preparatory Project sensors), 15 Safety Net(TM) receptor sites, the command, communication and control system, ground processing, and operations through 2016.

Sensors manifested on NPOESS and the NPOESS Preparatory Project include:

· Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). Collects visible and infrared radiometric data of the Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and land surfaces. Data types include atmospheric, clouds, Earth radiation budget, land/water and sea surface temperature, ocean color, and low light imagery. (NPP)

· Microwave Imager/Sounder (MIS). Collects microwave radiometry and sounding data.

· Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS). Measures Earth's radiation to determine the vertical distribution of temperature, moisture, and pressure in the atmosphere. (NPP)

· Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS). In conjunction with CrIS, collects global observations of temperature and moisture profiles at high temporal resolution. (NPP)

· Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS-Nadir and Limb). Collects data to permit the calculation of the vertical and horizontal distribution of ozone in the Earth's atmosphere. (NPP will fly nadir and limb; NPOESS will fly nadir only)

· Data Collection System (A-DCS). Measures environmental factors such as atmospheric temperature and pressure and the velocity and direction of the ocean and wind currents.

· Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES). Measures both solar-reflected and Earth-emitted radiation from the top of the atmosphere to the Earth's surface.

· Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT). Uses NOAA satellites in low-Earth and geostationary orbits to detect and locate aviators, mariners, and land-based users in distress.

· Space Environment Monitor (SEM). Measures the near-Earth space environment in terms of neutral and charged particles, electron and magnetic fields.