ROCHESTER, N.Y. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — January 25, 2012 — An ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) breakthrough technology for severe weather forecasting is now fully operational and capturing invaluable weather data from space.
After launching Oct. 28, 2011, and completing on-orbit preparation, the Exelis-built Cross Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument began measuring atmospheric profiles for temperature, moisture, and pressure from space to the Earth’s surface.
Called soundings, these measurements are crucial for global weather models, which directly impact two- to seven-day weather forecasts in the U.S. The sounding accuracy of CrIS is well beyond the capabilities of previous operational sounders. CrlS enables weather forecasters to more accurately predict days in advance the path and severity of weather like tornados and snowstorms.
“ CrIS is the first U.S. operational hyperspectral sounding instrument and will be one of the most effective instruments for weather forecasting missions today,” said Rob Mitrevski, vice president and general manager, Integrated Geospatial Sensing Systems and Environmental Intelligence at Exelis Geospatial Systems. “The CrIS instrument will benefit communities by providing more accurate predictions of weather patterns and storm tracks. This milestone is a testament to our ability to help our customers see and solve some of the world’s toughest problems.”
CrIS is an integral part of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP), the next-generation U.S. climate and weather monitoring system. CrIS is the first in a series of advanced operational sounders, flying at an altitude of 512 miles and circling the globe as much as 14 times per day.
Sounders work by measuring the energy through an atmospheric column from the ground up through the clouds. The sounders flying today for the U.S. provide 19 slices of the column. The CriS instrument will take more than 1,000 slices — critical for improving weather forecast models by providing more detailed information about moisture, temperature, and pressure.
ITT Exelis Geospatial Systems, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., is a global supplier of innovative night vision, remote sensing, and navigation solutions that provide sight and situational awareness at the space, airborne, ground, and soldier levels. Key applications include image intensification and thermal imaging; advanced power supplies; multi-spectral image systems; weather and climate monitoring; space science; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; GPS-based positioning, navigation and timing systems; and image exploitation software.
About ITT Exelis
ITT Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense and information solutions company with strong positions in enduring and emerging global markets. Exelis is a leader in networked communications, sensing and surveillance, electronic warfare, navigation, air traffic solutions and information systems with growing positions in cyber security, composite aerostructures, logistics and technical services. The company has a 50-year legacy of innovation and technology expertise, partnering with customers worldwide to deliver affordable, mission-critical products and services for managing global threats, conflicts and complexities. Headquartered in McLean, Va., the company employs about 21,000 people and generated 2010 revenue of $5.9 billion.