CPI International Provides Key Enabling Technology for Recently Activated CloudSat Satellite
PALO ALTO, Calif., June 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CPI International, Inc. (Nasdaq: CPII), the parent company of Communications & Power Industries, Inc., a leading provider of microwave, radio frequency, power and control solutions for critical defense, communications, medical, scientific and other applications, provides the 94 gigahertz Extended Interaction Klystron (EIK) that is the enabling element in the radar used by NASA's CloudSat, an Earth Observation satellite. On June 2, 2006, following several weeks of satellite positioning maneuvers and system tests, the cloud-profiling radar on-board CloudSat, including CPI International's EIK, became operational.
The 94 gigahertz EIK developed by CPI International (CPI) amplifies low-power radar signals and converts them to high-power radar pulses, which are transmitted by CloudSat into the Earth's atmosphere. CloudSat measures the reflected signal from clouds in the atmosphere in order to build a three- dimensional profile of the clouds and provide new information concerning their global distribution and evolution. The cloud-profiling radar, built at the National Aeronautics Space Administration's (NASA's) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) with hardware contributions from the Canadian Space Agency, is more than a thousand times more sensitive than typical weather radar. The radar detects clouds and distinguishes between different forms of precipitation and cloud particles.
CPI's 94 gigahertz EIK is the key enabling technology for cloud-profiling radars, and is the first space-qualified EIK of its kind. CPI pioneered and developed EIK technology at its Canadian facility, and has sold more than 1,000 commercial EIKs for use in millimeter wave radar, communications systems and scientific applications. During a multi-year project, CPI adapted a commercial EIK and qualified it for use aboard CloudSat under a series of contracts totaling $5.6 million with the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency and JPL.
"CloudSat's radar could not function without the high-power EIK, and CPI is the only company in the world to develop and produce this vital technology," said Dr. Eastwood Im, the CloudSat Radar Instrument Manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "CPI's technology is the critical component for the CloudSat radar, and we have collaborated closely with them to qualify this exceptional and reliable 94 gigahertz EIK for space. CPI's experience and knowledge has been invaluable to the CloudSat mission."
"The CloudSat mission will provide important information to help us better understand our climate, and we are proud to provide an integral element of the cloud-profiling radar," said Joe Caldarelli, chief executive officer of CPI. "The technology that CPI has developed and the additional experience that we have gained as part of this program will further strengthen our leadership in the industry."
CloudSat is expected to provide the first global survey of cloud properties, which are not obtainable from current satellite measurement systems. Launched on April 28, 2006 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, CloudSat uses a millimeter-wavelength radar to measure the vertical structure and properties of clouds, providing a cross-sectional view of clouds and new information on their thickness, altitude, optical properties and water and ice content, as well as information on the impact of clouds on the distribution of the sun's energy in the atmosphere. This information is expected to aid research into atmospheric circulation models and weather patterns, and will be used by an international team of scientists to improve long-term weather forecasting and climate modeling and provide insights into the global water cycle. The first image of the CloudSat measured cloud profiles can be seen at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2006-083.
CPI is also working with the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Japan, and the Canadian Space Agency to develop a space-qualified, 94 gigahertz EIK that will meet a three-year operational requirement. This technology is expected to be used in the Earth Clouds Aerosols and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) space mission, an advanced joint mission between Europe and Japan (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NICT) to acquire vertical profiles of clouds, aerosols and radiances at the top of the atmosphere, as well as the vertical velocity of clouds. In addition to an advanced cloud-profiling radar, EarthCARE will carry a laser radar operating with ultra-violet light, a cloud- imaging camera and a sensor to measure radiated energy from Earth to outer- space; it is due for launch in 2012.
About CPI International, Inc.
CPI International, Inc., headquartered in Palo Alto, California, is the parent company of Communications & Power Industries, Inc., a leading provider of microwave, radio frequency, power and control solutions for critical defense, communications, medical, scientific and other applications. Communications & Power Industries, Inc. develops, manufactures and distributes products used to generate, amplify and transmit high-power/high-frequency microwave and radio frequency signals and/or provide power and control for various applications. End-use applications of these systems include the transmission of radar signals for navigation and location; transmission of deception signals for electronic countermeasures; transmission and amplification of voice, data and video signals for broadcasting, Internet and other types of communications; providing power and control for medical diagnostic imaging; and generating microwave energy for radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer and for various industrial and scientific applications.
About the CSA
Established in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) coordinates all civil, space-related policies and programs on behalf of the Government of Canada. CSA directs its resources and activities through four key thrusts: Earth Observation, Space Science and Exploration, Satellite Communications, and Space Awareness and Learning. By leveraging international cooperation, the CSA generates world-class scientific research and industrial development for the benefit of humanity.
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