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Northrop Grumman Successfully Tests Multi-Mission Command and Telemetry System for Key Global Space Programs

James Webb Space Telescope and the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System -- First Programs to Share Customized Software

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Oct. 8, 2007 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), in conjunction with ground system teammate Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), recently completed the System Acceptance Test (SAT) of a Common Command and Telemetry System (CCTS) that will potentially reduce costs between two programs, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS).

"The successful completion of this milestone proves our commitment to providing low-cost, synergistic enterprise solutions to our customers," said Alexis Livanos, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. "It also shows that two customers with two separate programs were willing to trust our collaboration and teamwork to align schedules so that the same system could be used. We've now demonstrated proven efficiencies across different programs that can be utilized to reduce costs and ensure success for future projects."

Raytheon's ECLIPSE(r) is a commercial off-the-shelf command and telemetry product that was configured to support both satellite flight operations and integration & test (I&T) on the James Webb Space Telescope and NPOESS. Adding the I&T requirements to a traditional flight operations system is an innovative approach, increasing SAT requirements to accommodate different satellite communication protocols and user needs. Software requirements were verified on spacecraft and ground equipment simulators at Northrop Grumman over a four-week period, concluding in August.

The test milestone represents the culmination of a four-year Raytheon development effort to bring Northrop Grumman its first true multi-mission command and telemetry system and proves the joint team's ability to engineer a system while balancing combined NPOESS and JWST requirements and schedules.

The test verified 1300 requirements through 26 "test-as-you-fly," functional, performance and interface procedures and was the first SAT completed after program-specific requirements were merged into a baseline command and telemetry system. The SAT's objective was to verify command rate and protocol, telemetry decomutation (the ability to transform raw data into engineering values), and to control and monitor the test hardware in an environment unique to Northrop Grumman.

The CCTS ECLIPSE(r) has been delivered to science instrument providers at the Goddard Space Flight Center who will use it to develop, test, and integrate their instruments for the James Webb Space Telescope.

The joint development team includes Northrop Grumman's JWST and NPOESS teams, program customers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the NPOESS Integrated Program Office (IPO) and Raytheon Mission Command and Control Systems.

The James Webb Space Telescope, designed to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope, will be NASA's premier space observatory following its launch in 2013. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor, leading a team in the telescope's design and development under contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

NPOESS is the nation's next-generation low-Earth orbiting remote sensing system and will provide environmental data to military and civilian users. Prime contractor Northrop Grumman leads the overall systems engineering and systems integration effort under contract to the IPO, consisting of the Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Defense and NASA. Raytheon is responsible for the command, control and communications segment; interface data processing segment; and providing systems engineering support. The first NPOESS satellite is scheduled to launch in 2013.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

CONTACT:  Sally Koris
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          310.812.4721
          sally.koris@ngc.com