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Raytheon Technology Enables Superior Space Images From Spitzer Space Telescope

GOLETA, Calif., Jan 08, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The first images from the Spitzer Space Telescope unveiled last month were made possible by infrared detectors from Raytheon Company. The detectors, manufactured by Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS), enable images that are the next step beyond the famed Hubble telescope.

RVS has been working on the technology leading to the Spitzer Space Telescope for 20 years. "The images that we've received from Spitzer are just spectacular, exactly what we were projecting," said Mike Allgeier, RVS vice president for Precision Technologies and Components. "We're delighted that our effort has paid off for NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the entire scientific community."

The detectors Raytheon delivered for Spitzer are 100 times more sensitive than those available in the mid-1980s when the project began. The images from Spitzer combined technology advances from two types of infrared detectors. One detector is made from indium antimonide, which is sensitive to the mid- infrared band. The other is a doped silicon detector, sensitive in the long- wave infrared range. Together, these detectors make color images of galaxies and stars possible.

Raytheon is an industry leader in low-light imaging. RVS has received a contract for the infrared detectors on NASA's new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is expected to launch in 2011. JWST is the next-generation space telescope for astronomy. This observatory will have more than 20 times the number of detector elements with better sensitivity, enabling even greater resolution and imagery.

Raytheon Vision Systems is the world leader of infrared detectors, which enable a variety of night-vision missions including astronomy and civil space applications. Located in Goleta, Calif., Raytheon Vision Systems is part of Raytheon's Network Centric Systems, which is headquartered in McKinney, Texas.

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2002 sales of $16.8 billion, is an industry leader in defense, government and commercial electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs more than 76,000 people worldwide.

    Contact:
     Janet Kopec
     972-952-2547

SOURCE Raytheon Company


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