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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The latest satellite in Japan's Earth observation fleet, the Advanced Land Observation Satellite(ALOS), was recently launched with Goodrich Corporation's (NYSE: GR) advanced, high-precision optical systems on board.
Developed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), ALOS is one of the largest Japanese satellites ever sent into space. The main imaging instrument on ALOS is the Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument of Stereo Mapping, or PRISM, payload which will capture images on the Earth as small as 2.5-meters to support precision mapping. PRISM has three, Goodrich-produced, optical sensors pointing forward, down, and backward along the craft's ground track as it orbits Earth. This arrangement provides high quality, three-dimensional imagery and can collect image areas on the Earth up to 70 kilometers wide.
Goodrich's Electro-Optical Systems team, headquartered in Danbury, Conn., developed the advanced high precision optical systems in the three PRISM payload telescopes. Each telescope has a unique optical configuration allowing it to capture large areas on the ground. The Goodrich-produced mirrors for each of these lightweight systems are 0.6-meters in maximum dimension and are polished to a surface precision better than 10 billionths of a meter. In addition to the three flight systems launched on the ALOS satellite, Goodrich also supplied another complete set of systems for an Engineering Model and provided on-site support in Japan for final integration of the PRISM payload.
Goodrich's Electro-Optical Systems team also provided the attitude control hardware that supports precision pointing of the ALOS spacecraft to specificregions of the Earth. These items incorporate Goodrich proprietary fine balancing processes which dramatically reduce the disturbances imparted to the satellite. This is key to the proper operation of this highly-sensitive technology.
The ALOS system will aid scientists in their search for natural resources, help cartographers around the world create more precise maps, and provide support for disaster response. Further details of the PRISM Instrument and ALOS mission, as well as images from the satellite, can be found at http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/ALOS/.