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Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract From ITT to Build Long-Life Cryocoolers for Sensors on Two International Weather Satellites

Advanced ITT Sensors Will Provide Improved Data for Meteorologists

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Feb. 3, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected by ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT) to provide flight cryocoolers for the sensor payloads for two international weather satellites. The geostationary satellites will provide round-the-clock weather forecasts and severe weather alerts. Cryocoolers are used to reduce thermal noise in space-based sensors.

The Northrop Grumman cooler design is based on the flight-proven High Efficiency Cryocooler (HEC) pulse tube cooler and will maintain the international satellites’ infrared detectors and optics at cryogenic temperatures for more than 8 years. The ITT sensor payloads will be based on the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) that ITT is currently building for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R-series, or GOES-R, for NOAA’s next-generation geostationary constellation. This improved imager has the capability to monitor three times the number of atmospheric events when compared to current generation payloads.

“With 16 cryocoolers now in orbit, two operating continuously for more than 11 years, our heritage cryocoolers and electronics are demonstrating unmatched reliability and performance in space,” said Mark Folkman, director of Products and Sensing for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. This contract marks the third time a Northrop Grumman cryocooler will have supported an international weather/climate satellite.

A world leader in long life, high-reliability cryocoolers for space applications, Northrop Grumman continues to enable sensor performance for critical weather, climate, and science missions. Since 1998, more than 90% of the U.S. manufactured long-life pulse tube or Stirling cryocoolers in space have been Northrop Grumman-built. Several Northrop Grumman cryocoolers have exceeded their on-orbit performance requirements, in some cases extending mission life beyond 10 years. 

"ITT is proud to build meteorological payloads that help save lives and protect property around the world, and we welcome Northrop Grumman to the team that’s creating this extraordinary meteorological instrument,” said Rob Mitrevski, vice president for Commercial and Space Science programs, ITT Space Systems Division.

ITT Corporation is a high-technology engineering and manufacturing company operating on all seven continents in three vital markets: water and fluids management, global defense and security, and motion and flow control. With a heritage of innovation, ITT partners with its customers to deliver extraordinary solutions that create more livable environments, provide protection and safety and connect our world.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a 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 Aerospace Systems
         310.812.4721
         sally.koris@ngc.com