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  • Lockheed Completes 2nd Imaging System for Weather Satellite
Jan 2016
PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 15, 2016 — Lockheed Martin Corp. has delivered a second lightning-monitoring camera to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for use on its next-generation weather monitoring satellite.

The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument will provide early alerts of severe storms and contribute to more accurate tornado warnings. It tracks rapid increases of in-cloud lightning, which precedes severe weather on the ground, by tracking flashes from geostationary orbit.

The second Geostationary Lightning Mapper undergoes final testing in Lockheed Martin’s Denver location, where technicians will integrate it with the GOES-S weather satellite.

The instrument features a 500-fps, 1.8-MP focal plane, integrated with low-noise electronics and specialized optics to detect weak lightning signals against bright, sunlit cloud backgrounds.

It will be installed on a Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-S, which is scheduled for launch in 2017.

GOES satellites provide a continuous stream of weather imagery and sounding data used to support weather forecasting, severe-storm tracking and meteorological research at NOAA. The GOES program is managed and operated by NOAA, with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center managing GLM instrument development.

Lockheed Martin completed its assembly, integration, test and delivery of the second GLM 13 months after the first device was delivered.

"We reduced the build and test time of this complex instrument by 40 percent compared to the first unit," said Jeff Vanden Beukel, GLM program director at Lockheed Martin. "Now that development is complete, we are able to reduce delivery time so the GOES program can serve our nation with more accurate weather information."

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