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Lockheed Martin Team Submits Proposal to Design and Build Nation's Next-Generation Polar-Orbiting Weather Satellite System

SUNNYVALE, CA, March 15th, 2002 -- A team headed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale has submitted a proposal to the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Integrated Program Office (IPO) to design, build and orbit NPOESS. The IPO is comprised of officials from the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Lockheed Martin team was awarded one of two program definition contracts in December 1999. "We look forward to working with the IPO in designing and building an NPOESS system which delivers the required environmental data to the user communities," said Al Smith, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "Our long heritage of building and integrating polar-orbiting weather satellites will serve us well in moving this very important mission from drawing board to orbit. In addition, our commitment to management innovation and process improvement will help to chart a successful and low-risk course for NPOESS in a life-cycle cost-constrained environment."

The Lockheed Martin team members include Harris Corp., Boeing, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Integral Systems Inc., and Remote Sensing Systems, and Lockheed Martin Management and Data Systems. The team brings together industry leaders in space-based environmental monitoring, ground systems, weather algorithms, space communications and mission operations - and the first team of engineers to earn the industry's highest certification in both software and systems engineering.

The proposal submitted today was based on extensive engineering and analysis conducted by the Lockheed Martin team during the Program Definition and Risk Reduction phase, and lays an excellent foundation from which to transition to final design, development and production of the NPOESS system. In their proposal to the IPO, the team has demonstrated and validated critical architectural design issues, including risk reduction, and has conducted Cost As an Independent Variable (CAIV) trades to ensure the best value NPOESS architecture solution.

NPOESS will merge the United States civil and military operational meteorological satellite systems into a single system that will satisfy both civil and national security requirements for space-based, remotely-sensed environmental data. It will provide civilian leaders and military commanders timely, high quality meteorological and environmental data to help protect national resources and effectively employ weapons systems.

The U.S. government has traditionally maintained two operational weather satellite systems, each with a 30-year plus heritage of successful service. The NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) program began with the launch of the first TIROS satellite in 1960. The DoD's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) was initiated shortly thereafter. Lockheed Martin Space Systems and its heritage companies have built all of the satellites for both programs since their inception.

In 1993, influenced by increased congressional interest and following recommendations contained in the National Performance Review, NOAA, DoD and NASA began studying how to converge the two systems. The completed study revealed that a converged system could reduce duplication and bureaucracy, substantially reduce costs, and satisfy both civil and military requirements for operational, space-based, remotely-sensed environmental data. A robust NPOESS program is the result.

As part of the NPOESS contract, the system contractor will support the IPO and NASA in the implementation of NASA's NPOESS Preparatory Project mission (NPP). The purpose of NPP is to provide first flight for three of the major instruments now being developed for NPOESS. The NPOESS contractor will be responsible for supplying the NPP satellite command, control, and communications, as well as instrument data processing, and evaluation of instrument performance. In addition, the NPOESS contractor will be responsible for delivering two of the three instruments for the NPP mission, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and the Cross Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS).

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures, and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Buddy Nelson (510) 797-0349
Pager: (888) 916-1797

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