NRL Scientist Receives Vice President's Prestigious Hammer Award

5/20/1996 - 42-96r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541

Dr. Stephen A. Mango, Consultant for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Sensing in the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Remote Sensing Division, is a co-recipient of Vice President Al Gore's prestigious Hammer Award. The Hammer Award recognizes new standards of excellence achieved by teams helping to reinvent government.

Award-winning teams are selected for their significant contributions to the President's National Performance Review (NPR) principles of "putting customers first, empowering employees and getting back to basics." This award, which is Vice President Gore's answer to yesterday's government's $600.00 hammer, consists of a $6.00 hammer, a ribbon and a notecard from the Vice President, all encased in an aluminum frame.

Dr. Mango was recognized as a key member of the Tri-Agency Convergence Transition Team, which combined the separate U.S. military and civil polar meteorological satellite programs into the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), a single U.S. national program. Transition team members included people from the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Commerce (DOC) and NASA.

In a letter, The Honorable John W. Douglass, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) congratulated Dr. Mango on his award noting, "It is particularly gratifying when the achievement is in a forum outside the Department of the Navy so that others can better appreciate the quality of our team."

Secretary of the Air Force, The Honorable Sheila E. Widnall, also commended Dr. Mango in a letter, saying "You can take great pride in your role in establishing NPOESS and ensuring the NPOESS will meet the critical needs of our warfighters. Please accept my congratulations on a truly outstanding achievement."

In a multiyear process, NPOESS will integrate the Air Force's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) and the NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite program (POES), which was developed by NASA and operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Transition team members expect this initiative to significantly improve current remote sensing capabilities, while achieving substantial cost savings.

Currently four U.S. polar orbiting satellites are used to collect operational meteorological, oceanographic, climatic and space environment data. Two satellites are provided and operated by the DOC's NOAA and two by DoD's DMSP. The new program will consist of three satellites in a coordinated constellation. The first launch of a satellite under the fully merged NPOESS is scheduled for 2006.

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