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Romanian Government Formally Accepts National Weather System Developed by Lockheed Martin
PRNewswire-FirstCall
BUCHAREST, Romania

Lockheed Martin and the Romanian Ministerul Agriculturii, Padurilor, Apelor si Mediului (MAPAM), or Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Waters and Environment, today participated in an opening ceremony at the headquarters for the National Integrated Meteorological System, or SIMIN, in Bucharest.

On October 6, MAPAM announced that Lockheed Martin had been selected to provide a hydrological forecast system to Romania to help the country guard against the effects of severe flooding. The $46 million program, called DESWAT, short for "DEStructive WATers," will be integrated with SIMIN.

Under the $55 million SIMIN contract awarded in 2000, Lockheed Martin designed and implemented a system that integrates the data from Romania's legacy meteorological systems with the latest technology in meteorological radars, surface and hydrological sensor stations, data processing and forecaster decision/display systems and telecommunications/satellite broadcasting.

In addition to enduring some of the most extreme weather conditions in Central and Eastern Europe, the Carpathian Mountains that bisect the nation present significant challenges in communicating weather information because they block ordinary weather radar attempts to see across the country.

"With the opening of SIMIN, we will have in one place an integrated system that combines our Institute's existing meteorological infrastructure with the latest in American technology," said Scientific Director Vladimir Ivanovici, Ph.D. "Our country's weather forecasting capabilities are greatly improved, since we can now, from one location, observe satellite imagery and data from the radars and surface observation stations, and almost instantly send it to our regional forecasting centers for their use in making local weather forecasts."

MAPAM Secretary of State Florin Stadiu said, "SIMIN represents an important achievement in the Ministry's initiatives to modernize Romania's emergency management infrastructure. Now we will have advanced capabilities for detecting, monitoring and forecasting environmental, meteorological and hydrological phenomena."

"A lot of SIMIN's success has to be credited to Romania's forecaster section, as well as to its technical specialists," said Tom Patello, the SIMIN Program Manager. "Together we integrated several types of weather radar with lightning detectors, surface meteorological stations, weather stations, hydrological buoys, wind profilers and satellites to provide a forecast that completely blankets the country, displayed in the way our customer wants to use it. This systems integration capability should contribute greatly to the safety of Romanian citizens and their property."

Lockheed Martin is responsible for 160 NEXRAD WSR-88D weather radars in the U.S. that currently predict severe storms in the nation's heartland. Company researchers are using the same highly sophisticated phased-array technology used in its land-based and naval military radars to develop next- generation weather radars. Phased array radar uses electronically controlled beams, which reduce scan times from six minutes to only one minute, producing fast data updates and potentially increasing the lead times for tornado warnings. Currently, Lockheed Martin's SPY-1 phased-array radar technology, originally designed and produced for the Navy's Aegis-equipped warships, is being used in a National Weather Radar Test bed in Norman, OK, by the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 125,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.

For additional information and photos, visit our Web site:

http://ness.external.lmco.com/ms2/about.html/

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors

CONTACT: Ellen Mitchell, Lockheed Martin, +1-315-456-3296; email:
ellen.j.mitchell@lmco.com