ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 8, 2013—ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) has been awarded a multimillion dollar contract to provide South Korea an advanced geostationary weather imager to support the country’s forecasting capabilities.
Under the GEO-KOMPSAT-2A program, Exelis will deliver an Advanced Metorological Imager (AMI), which will be launched into geostationary orbit in 2017. The AMI is a Korean version of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) Exelis is currently building for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA for the next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite series known as GOES-R.
"AMI will provide South Korea more data more regularly and at higher resolution resulting in better advanced warning, which is critical for saving lives and property,” said Rob Mitrevski, an Exelis Geospatial Systems vice president who leads environmental intelligence and integrated geospatial sensors and systems. “Recent hurricanes and major storms have shown the critical role played by geo-imagers here in the United States. South Korea similarly has challenges with typhoons and other severe weather and will benefit greatly from this new geostationary imager."
Geostationary imagers fly 22,300 miles above Earth staring at specific regions, providing constant, near real-time data to weather forecasters. Known as sentinels in the sky, these satellite instruments are critical to short-term and immediate severe weather forecasting. Geo-imagers capture most of the images of hurricanes and storms taken from space, which are shown by meteorologists on television and in other media. The ABI class imager being used by South Korea provides five times the temporal resolution than current imagers, completing a scan of the full hemisphere in five minutes rather than the 30 minutes.
The AMI will also provide several spectral bands and two times the resolution capability of South Korea’s existing satellites to about one-half mile. These increased capabilities and higher latency will provide new products and tools for weather forecasters to improve their forecasts.
With the addition of the GEO-KOMPSAT-2A program, Exelis is now building seven ABI class instruments: four for NOAA and NASA and two for Japan. Exelis has provided every geostationary imager and sounder to the U.S. government since 1994 and also built the current geo imagers flown by Japan and South Korea.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Air Force awarded Exelis a $13 million contract to finalize design concepts for a low Earth-orbiting imager for the Department of Defense weather satellite follow-on program. The study will ensure the instrument can be flown on multiple satellite platforms providing maximum flexibility for the U.S. Air Force in planning its next-generation program.
About ITT Exelis
Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense, information and technical 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 communications, sensing and surveillance, critical networks, electronic warfare, navigation, air traffic solutions and information systems with growing positions in C4ISR, composite aerostructures, logistics and technical services. Headquartered in McLean, Va., the company employs about 19,900 people and generated 2012 sales of $5.5 billion. For more information, visit our website at www.exelisinc.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.