[SatNews] The Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) built by Exelis (NYSE: XLS) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, shipped last week and is ready for integration onto the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) spacecraft—the satellite is scheduled for launch in 2017.
The CrIS is an advanced sounder that provides detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations for weather and climate applications. It is an example of environmental intelligence technology Exelis is focused on for growth in the area of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and analytics (ISRA). The first version of the sounder is currently operational on the NOAA/NASA Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, a bridge between NOAA's legacy polar satellite fleet, NASA's Earth observing missions and NOAA’s JPSS constellation.
Exelis was awarded a contract in 2014 to build another CrIS for the JPSS-2 program. The sounder’s high-spectral resolution infrared technology measures the three-dimensional structure of atmospheric temperatures, water vapor and trace gases. These measurements are crucial for global weather models, which directly impact three- to seven-day weather forecasts in the United States. CrIS enables weather forecasters to more accurately predict days in advance the path and severity of weather like tornadoes and snowstorms. It also provides a vital tool for NOAA to continually take the planet’s pulse to assist in understanding major climate shifts.
“CrIS is proven technology that is already providing high-quality environmental data to the meteorological and climate communities on Suomi NPP,” said Eric Webster, Exelis vice president of environmental intelligence. “Our team did a great job finishing the second CrIS instrument. This advanced hyperspectral technology is providing improvements to numerical weather prediction models.”