Thursday, August 6, 2009

AstroMesh Deployable Reflector From Northrop Grumman Will Help NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Map Soil Moisture Globally

AstroMesh Deployable Reflector From Northrop Grumman Will Help NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Map Soil Moisture Globally
August 6th, 2009

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - A deployable satellite reflector and boom assembly from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will help NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) map soil moisture and the freezing and thawing cycles globally with unprecedented accuracy, resolution and coverage.

The company's AstroMesh-Lite configuration deployable reflector
will be used on JPL's Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) mission
targeted for launch in 2014. This mission will use a combined
radiometer and high-resolution radar to make direct measurements of
soil moisture and freeze/thaw state to aid understanding of regional
and global water cycles, ecosystem productivity, and the processes that
link water, energy and carbon cycles.

"The SMAP mission is critical to understanding the health of
the Earth's ecology. We are proud of our successful history of teaming
with JPL on multiple planetary missions going back as far as Voyager to
the outer planets and more recently to Mars," said Richard Nelson,
general manager of Astro Aerospace, a Carpinteria-based strategic
business unit of Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. The unit
specializes in advanced deployable structures for space applications.

AstroMesh-Lite is a member of Northrop Grumman's flight proven
AstroMesh "Perimeter Truss" reflector line, optimized for the three- to
eight-meter aperture size. For the SMAP mission, its approximately
six-meter aperture will provide high-resolution data to enable
improvements to weather and climate forecasts, flood prediction and
drought monitoring, and measurement of net carbon dioxide uptake in
forested regions.

"Astro Aerospace has a stellar history of 100 percent mission
deployment success," noted Chris Yamada, general manager for Northrop
Grumman Aerospace Systems' strategic business units. "The AstroMesh
family is the only deployable mesh reflector with a perfect on-orbit
deployment record -- no failures, and no anomalies. Astro's selection
to the SMAP team is a tribute to its continuing commitment to assure
mission success."

For more than 50 years, Astro Aerospace has been a pioneer in
the development of space deployable structures and technologies.
Products range from AstroMesh furlable reflectors, antennas, truss
masts, telescopic booms, storable tubular extendible members, solar
array and planar radar-array deployments.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security
company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products,
and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems,
shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial
customers worldwide.

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