Sensors and Instruments

Sensors and InstrumentsWe have decades of experience as both an instrument developer and a systems prime contractor integrating highly reliable sensors. Northrop Grumman's sensor and instrument technologies are considered "centers of excellence." The team overseeing these technologies designs, builds and operates a number of payloads in a select set of areas: precision radiometry; state-of-the-art hyperspectral imagers; and passive millimeter wave cameras. This team also conducts sensor modeling, design, engineering, analysis, test and integration.

As a system prime, we also integrate the best sensors and instruments built by our industry partners. These systems have an outstanding track record with NASA, and they've performed critical service to scientists in understanding the Earth's climate and determining the influence of clouds on global warming. In 2003 NASA gave us its prestigious Public Service Group Award for our design, fabrication, assembly, test, calibration and delivery of six CERES flight-qualified instruments. CERES (Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System) is a precision three-channel broadband scanning radiometer - and the on-orbit radiometric performance was declared "excellent" by the CERES science team.

Our performance as a systems integrator led to our winning a $2.9 billion prime contract to build NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System), the nation's next-generation meteorological satellite system. NPOESS merges existing military and civilian weather polar-orbiting satellite programs into a single, national system that will provide remote-sensing capability for civil, military and scientific purposes.

Among the technologies we're pioneering for NPOESS are Sensor Modeling and Simulation Testbeds, such as our Environmental product Verification and Remote Sensing Testbed (EVEREST). EVEREST is being built to support mission utility analyses and to define requirements, predict performance and independently verify and validate calibrations and algorithm performance.

Building upon Northrop Grumman's substantial experience in sensors, we'll continue to develop new technologies - expanding the range of the sensors we build, improving our design and integration processes and strengthening our capabilities in phenomenology and data exploitation.