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Aerojet AMSU-A Satellite Sensor Passes Pre-Ship Review

AZUSA, California, October 27, 1999

An Aerojet weather-watching Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) sensor successfully completed a pre- ship review today, paving the way for its launch aboard the European meteorological satellite METOP-1 in June 2003.

The review was conducted by officials from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the European agency EUMETSAT. This AMSU-A is the seventh of nine Aerojet is building for NASA/Goddard.

AMSU-A is manufactured at Aerojet's Azusa facility for use on weather- forecasting satellites utilized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies. The sensor's microwave radiometer provides temperature profiles from the earth's surface up to an altitude of 43 kilometers, as well as estimates of atmospheric water vapor and cloud cover over oceans.

Aerojet is bidding to develop AMSU's successor, the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounding Unit (ATMS), which will send global atmospheric temperature, moisture and pressure profiles from polar orbit.

The first AMSU instrument was launched on the NOAA-15 satellite May 13, 1998, and has performed exceedingly well. Highly accurate temperature profiles and other data from this instrument are being used by the National Weather Service and other weather centers to significantly improve weather forecasts.

In a new application, AMSU-A data has been used not only to follow the progress of tropical storms such as Hurricanes Floyd and Irene but also to measure their maximum sustained wind speed, thus providing another tool to monitor the intensity of storms as they near land.

About Aerojet

Aerojet, a division of GenCorp, is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the space electronics, missile and space propulsion, and smart munitions and armaments markets.

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