Three picked to design weather satellite sensor

Three companies have won two-year, $20 million contracts from NASA to design an advanced sensor for weather satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

BAE Systems of Nashua, N.H., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., and ITT Industries Inc. of White Plains, N.Y., will each design the atmospheric sounding and coastal water-imaging instrument. One will be selected by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to be built and flown on the satellites.

The technology, called the hyperspectral environmental suite, will detect temperature and water vapor profiles in Earth's atmosphere and monitor the global-coastal environment to provide atmospheric profiles that National Weather Service forecasters will use for critical storm watches.

BAE Systems North America Inc., a defense electronics and IT solutions and service provider with corporate offices in Rockville, Md., is No. 12 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list of prime federal contractors. ITT Industries, a global engineering and manufacturing company, ranked No. 26 on the list.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies, a provider of advanced imaging, communications, and information solutions to the government and commercial aerospace markets, is not on the list.

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