LAS VEGAS, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- GeoMetWatch (GMW) announced that it has entered into an agreement with Exelis, a top-tier diversified global aerospace company that builds advanced weather satellite sensors, to design a geostationary hyperspectral sounder.
Under the terms of the agreement, Exelis would manufacture sensors to be hosted by GMW partner organizations through a GMW license granted by the Department of Commerce to deploy a constellation of six geostationary hyperspectral sounders.
Geostationary hyperspectral sounding technology can provide the essential atmospheric data needed to produce next-generation weather forecast models. No other existing or emerging weather technology currently offers this capability. Existing hyperspectral sounders on low Earth-orbiting satellites can provide global information, but not persistent coverage over one geographical area such as the United States.
"Geostationary orbit capability is important because it is the only point from which we can continuously observe evolving weather with high-temporal resolution," said Edward A. Keible, Jr., GMW chief executive officer. "It also provides superior high-spatial resolution and high-vertical resolution observations to substantially improve our current forecast capability."
"Exelis operational experience in supporting both low Earth orbit and geostationary Earth orbit programs is unparalleled in the industry and the right company to provide the hyperspectral sounding capability," Keible said. "In addition, Exelis has the ability to ensure on-time delivery, which is essential to meeting our clients' needs for the critical data our program will provide."
Exelis has worked on the technology to build a geostationary hyperspectral sounder for several years.
"A commercial venture could help get this critical new capability to orbit faster and at a lower overall cost," said Eric Webster, vice president and director of weather systems for Exelis. "Our design is based on the very successful Exelis Advanced Baseline Imager. We are under contract for seven ABI-class instruments, two of which we delivered last year, so this effort fits nicely into our production line and offerings. We know the U.S. National Weather Service and meteorological agencies around the world want geo-sounding data and we believe a commercial approach could be the best way to provide it."
Recently named one of the top five companies in the space industry to watch, GMW will provide high-resolution soundings and images of climate and weather conditions, as well as other atmospheric data. GeoMetWatch's products and services will be available globally under an innovative fee-for-service, data-buy model that enables its clients to meet their critical atmospheric data needs with optimum efficiency and affordability.
Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense, information and services company that leverages a 50-year legacy of deep customer knowledge and technical expertise to deliver affordable, mission-critical solutions for global customers. We are a leader in positioning and navigation, sensors, air traffic management solutions, image processing and distribution, communications and information systems; and focused on strategic growth in the areas of critical networks, ISR and analytics, electronic warfare and composite aerostructures. Headquartered in McLean, Va., Exelis employs about 17,000 people and generated 2013 sales of $4.8 billion.
For more information, visit www.geometwatch.com
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