Exelis is supporting Japan's forecasting capabilities with the delivery of its first advanced weather satellite payload to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, based in Japan.
"Successful performance on and delivery of the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) is a key milestone for Exelis as we execute our environmental intelligence product business," said Eric Webster, Exelis Geospatial Systems vice president of weather systems. "AHI provides a number of improvements compared with current capabilities including better forecasting, improved numerical weather prediction accuracy and enhanced environmental monitoring."
Mitsubishi Electric will integrate the AHI into the Himawari-8 satellite for the Japan Meteorological Agency. The Himawari-8 and -9 geostationary satellites will replace the Multifunctional Transport Satellite (MTSAT) series. Himawari-8 is scheduled to launch next year. Unlike the MTSAT series, which performs both meteorological and aeronautical functions, to include air-traffic control communications and position information, Himawari-8 and -9 will have a dedicated meteorological mission.
The AHI is an Advanced Baseline Imager-class sensor similar to the one that will be integrated onto the NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series.
Developed out of Exelis core competencies in weather and image science, AHI technology reflects the company's focus and expertise in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and analytics enterprise area of the company. Environmental intelligence provided by AHI will give forecasters better data faster and at a higher resolution to provide advanced warning during dangerous weather, which is critical to saving lives and property.
Exelis is in the process of building and delivering seven advanced imagers: two for Japan; one for South Korea; and four for NASA and NOAA. Exelis has provided every geostationary imager and sounder to the U.S. government since 1994 and has also built the current geo imagers flown by Japan and South Korea.