L3Harris selected to lead advanced international weather satellite study

L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a contract by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) for an advanced study which will significantly improve the accuracy and timing of Japan’s weather forecasting.

L3Harris will lead the geostationary hyperspectral infrared (IR) sounder study for the JMA’s future enterprise. The six-month design study began last month and allows L3Harris to evaluate geostationary sounder instrument concepts. Sounders are advanced spectrometers that produce high-resolution, three-dimensional temperature and moisture profiles from space. The study also will analyze performance, mature the design, and develop ground processing algorithms for prompt use of IR sounder data after launch.

"The data provided by L3Harris’ sounders and imagers improves both the accuracy of weather forecasting days in advance and real-time severe weather monitoring, which saves lives and property, especially for extreme weather which impacts Japan, such as typhoons, tsunamis, tornadoes, thunderstorms and micrometeorological events,” said Rob Mitrevski, Vice President and General Manager, Spectral Solutions, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. “Our technology continues to play a critical role in improving severe storm tracking and warnings. The more levels of data, the better the forecast and monitoring.”

L3Harris’ most advanced hyperspectral sounder, the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), is currently flying on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). The second JPSS satellite is scheduled to launch this fall. Japan’s Himawari-8 and -9 satellites include L3Harris’ Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) onboard. AHI is similar to the Advanced Baseline Imager on NOAA’s GOES-R series of satellites – GOES-T launched in March. Last year, L3Harris was selected by NASA to lead a similar Formulation Phase study for NOAA’s Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite sounder.

L3Harris is the industry-leading provider of weather sensors flown by U.S. and international customers, including Japan and South Korea. The company’s advanced meteorological capabilities experts will be available during the 37th Space Symposium April 4-7 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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