USA: Raytheon Common Ground System Passes Launch Test


The Raytheon Company  developed Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Common Ground System achieved a major milestone on the road to NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) launch with the successful completion of the NPP Compatibility Test 4 this August. This is the last major comprehensive test prior to the scheduled October launch.

The compatibility test consisted of 288 hours of continuous mission-like operations exercising the flow of mission data from Svalbard, Norway, through the Raytheon-developed Command, Control & Communications Segment and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Air Force Weather Agency data processing segments, called IDPSs. In addition, data records were sent to the payload-support toolkit and to NOAA’s Environmental Satellite Data & Information Service, as well as to NASA and Air Force Weather Agency customer systems in Suitland, Md.; Greenbelt, Md.; Asheville, N.C.; and Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb.

“The NPP mission was designed to provide flight experience and assess risk for Joint Polar Satellite System instruments, as well as the associated ground system, and climate data continuity between the NASA Earth Observation System missions and the first JPSS launch. However, because of recent funding reductions, NPP data will be used in operational forecasting models,” said Bill Sullivan, program director for Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems’ JPSS Common Ground System (CGS). “We placed a significant load on the systems, which performed with minimal issues during the duration of the test, giving us increased confidence in the NPP mission.”

The compatibility test also used JPSS ground systems and flight products to command the NPP satellite for a total of 144 hours. The spacecraft bus and all the spacecraft instruments were exercised via commands originating from the project’s Mission Management Center in the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Md. All satellite command and control systems were tested, including mission planning, trending, science data processing and load building. Nearly 200 team members participated in the testing event, including teams from the spacecraft, ground and flight segments.

The JPSS Common Ground System, which was developed by Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems business and fielded in 2008, is planned to support the Defense Weather Satellite System. Also, the CGS currently supports Europe’s MetOp satellite and is scheduled on other future international polar-orbiting missions such as Japan’s GCOM satellite.

Raytheon Company, with 2010 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 89 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 72,000 people worldwide.

Source: raytheon, August 26, 2011;