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N-ROSS

N-ROSS

N-ROSS (Naval Remote Ocean Sensing System) was a oceanographic satellite planned by the US Navy to measure the oceanographic surface parameters.

The satellite was to feature four instruments:

  • NSCAT scatterometer
    The N-ROSS Scatterometer was a Ku-band instrument based on the scatterometer flown on Seasat. It consisted of six fan antennas.
  • ALT (Altimeter)
    The altimeter was an C-band active microwave altimeter to measure the height of the ocean surface, the wind speed and the wave height. It was nearly identical to the altimeter flown on Geosat.
  • SSM/I (Microwave Imager)
    SSM/I is identical to the instrument flown on the DMSP-5D2 satellites and was to be used to determine the water vapour, water liquid content, surface wind speed and ice coverage. SSM/I is a seven-channel, four frequency, linearly-polarized, passive microwave radiometric system which measures atmospheric, ocean and terrain microwave brightness temperatures at 19.35, 22.235, 37.0 and 85.5 GHz.
  • LFMR (Low Frequency Microwave Radiometer)
    LFMR was to provide all weather measurements of sea surface temperatures on a global scale with a resolution of 10 km.

N-ROSS was to be launched on a Titan-2(23)G Star-37XFP-ISS rocket from Vandenberg AFB.

N-ROSS, with a planned September 1990 launch on a Titan-2, fell victim to a significant cost overrun, with total projected costs increasing from $270 million to $420 million, amid charges of Navy mismanagement. However, in early 1987, Navy Secretary John Lehman attempted to revive the N-ROSS effort, with a launch anticipated in late 1991 or early 1992. Under the revived program, Lockheed and GE Astro-Space would compete for the contract to build the satellite. However, the program was terminated in 1988.

After final cancellation of N-ROSS in March 1988, NSCAT was selected in August 1989, for flight on the Japanese ADEOS satellite. The altimeter was planned to fly on the SALT satellite, which was also cancelled later.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Earth observation, oceanography
Operator: US Navy
Contractors: GE Astro-Space or Lockheed
Equipment: NSCAT, ALT, SSM/I, LFMR
Configuration: TIROS-N Bus
Propulsion: Star-37XFP / ISS
Power: Deployable solar array, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass:
Orbit:
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
N-ROSS - cancelled Va SLC-4W Titan-2(23)G Star-37XFP-ISS

References: