PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lockheed Martin team, awarded a contract by NASA in 2007 to design and build the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R Series, has met the requirements of a Pre-Environmental Review (PER). The review was held in November at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto by a group of multi-disciplinary experts from NASA and NOAA, as well as a number of independent reviewers. The SUVI instrument was built at the ATC under the management of the company's Civil Space Line of Business.
The Lockheed Martin SUVI instrument has met all requirements of the PER. The next major review will be the Pre-Ship or Pre-Storage Review in May 2013. The team is on plan for instrument delivery in Oct. 2013 to the Lockheed Martin Space Systems facility in Denver for integration with the spacecraft. The first GOES-R launch is scheduled for 2015.
"As a team we are honored to have passed this important milestone in the design and construction of the SUVI," said Mons Morrison, Lockheed Martin SUVI program manager. "We look forward to continuing our collaboration with NASA and NOAA to produce the best possible instrument that will make these crucial solar measurements, and to working side by side with our Lockheed Martin colleagues who are designing and building the GOES-R spacecraft."
The SUVI on the GOES-R satellites will provide the required solar observational capabilities that enable NOAA to monitor solar activity and to issue accurate real-time alerts when space weather may possibly affect the performance and reliability of space-borne and ground-based technological systems. Space weather can disrupt satellite operations, communications, navigation, and the distribution of electricity through power grids. These can lead to economic losses and can potentially endanger human life.
In recognition of the importance of the data the SUVI will gather, and the challenges associated with designing and building the instruments, Lockheed Martin assembled a highly capable team with a substantial record of success in providing similar instruments for other missions. The Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL) within the ATC, well known for solar instrument development and solar physics research, leads the GOES-R SUVI effort. LMSAL designed and developed the GOES-N,-O and –P Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) instruments and oversaw their successful calibration on-orbit following launches in 2006, 2009 and 2010, respectively.
GOES is a critical part of the U.S. satellite constellation for environmental observations. Operational since 1975, the GOES program is operated by NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). The GOES satellites are a key element in National Weather Service (NWS) operations, providing a continuous stream of environmental information (weather imagery and sounding data) used to support weather forecasting, severe-storm tracking, and meteorological research. Along with weather forecasting, the GOES program also provides data to support space weather forecasting, public safety, and scientific researchers use the data to better understand land, atmosphere, ocean, and climate interactions. The future GOES-R mission is the next generation of geostationary weather satellites. The advanced spacecraft and instrument technology used on the GOES-R series is expected to improve the quality and timeliness of forecasts, expanding the safety and economic benefits to the public.
The GOES Program is managed by NOAA, which establishes system requirements, provides funding for the development and operation of the system, and collects and distributes environmental data for the United States. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., manages the SUVI instrument as a part of its support to the acquisition and development of the GOES-R series of satellites and its instruments.
The ATC is the research and development organization of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC). LMSSC, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs and develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security and military, civil government and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; ballistic missiles; missile defense systems; and nanotechnology research and development.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.
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