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News

DOE research satellite successfully launched and working properly so far

DOE/Sandia National Laboratories : 29 December, 2006  (Technical Article)
A Department of Energy research satellite designed and built at Sandia National Laboratories was successfully placed into orbit, by a Taurus rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
A Department of Energy research satellite designed and built at Sandia National Laboratories was successfully placed into orbit, by a Taurus rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

This morning, operators in Sandia's ground control station report that the satellite appears to be in good working order based on its four passes over Albuquerque so far. Preliminary indications are that all of the satellite's instruments and functions are working and responding properly. Sandia officials caution, however, that it will take at least a month to check out the satellite completely.

The Multispectral Thermal Imager satellite carries a sophisticated telescope that collects day and night ground images in 15 spectral bands. The unique camera, designed and built by a government and industry team led by Sandia and calibrated at Los Alamos National Laboratory, gives the satellite the ability to photograph light and heat patterns on Earth that are not visible to the human eye.

During its three-year mission, the MTI satellite will pass over the Albuquerque control station twice a day, each time transmitting imaging data to Sandia controllers and receiving instructions for the following 12 hours.

The Department of Energy has established an MTI Users Group, comprising more than 100 researchers from 50 national defense and civilian agencies, that will conduct experiments using MTI images of instrumented ground sites.
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