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Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc.'s Innovation Continues On Landsat Flight Operations

PHOENIX, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced that after Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc.'s (HTSI) successful management of the Landsat program for the past 12 years, the organization was awarded a new six-year contract for the continued flight operations for Landsat 7.


Honeywell's new mission and data management processes anticipate and rectify anomalies and have saved the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the managing organization of the Landsat satellites, $9 million over the past 12 years. In addition, HTSI has successfully extended the Landsat 5's original three-year mission to 29 years and kept the Landsat 7 operationally viable.

Beyond its data management processes, HTSI also deployed its innovative "Lights Out" automated operations capability that reduced Landsat 7 operations staffing from 24 hours a day to just 10 hours a day, contributing to the overall cost savings for the USGS.

Contract Details

Under the new six-year contract HTSI will continue to manage both the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellite programs while adding new tasks such as these:
  • On-orbit flight operations and technical services for the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites
  • Sustaining engineering for each spacecraft, helping to keep the spacecraft operationally longer
  • Sustaining engineering for the Landsat mission control centers, helping manage their critical ground support and management functions

HTSI will also assist the USGS with the safe decommissioning of Landsat 5 by lowering it from its orbiting altitude of 705 kilometers and mitigating risk to nearby U.S. and international Earth-observing satellites. HTSI's flight operations team has already completed Phase 1 of the decommissioning by successfully lowering Landsat 5's orbit by 20 kilometers in two delta velocity maneuvers.

HTSI's History With Landsat

Landsat 5, now in space for more than 29 years, has been kept operationally viable by HTSI's engineers and operations specialists for 26 years longer than the satellite's original mission plan. The organization did this through these actions:
  • Implementing the Landsat Trending and Analysis System (LTAS), which provided engineers with immediate access to the mission's telemetry information so they could assess spacecraft performance and identify and resolve anomalies
  • Keeping Landsat 5 in orbit while the satellite experienced an issue with a solar array
  • In 2008, the satellite's wideband transmitter began showing signs of imminent failure, but HTSI was able to extend its operations for more than 18 months.
  • Restarting the secondary Multi-Spectral Scanner sensor, so it could provide downlink access for the spacecraft's primary image data from its Thematic Mapper sensor

Collectively, these and many other HTSI actions have extended the Landsat mission long past its life expectancy, benefitting the USGS and the worldwide Landsat user community.

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