NOAA 2002-108
Contact: Pat Viets
NOAA News Releases 2002
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A $4.5 billion contract has been awarded to TRW Inc. of Redondo Beach, Calif., to build and deploy the nation's future environmental satellite system, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today.

The contract is for the Acquisition and Operations (A&O) phases of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). NPOESS will combine the nation's military and civilian environmental satellite programs into a single national system that will significantly improve weather forecasting and climate prediction.

"By working together on this advanced satellite system, the three agencies will make the nation's environmental satellite system more efficient, cost effective and more responsive to our country's environmental information needs," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This new system will provide vital information about our weather, environment, climate and oceans. In addition, our integrated effort is expected to result in taxpayers saving approximately $1.6 billion over the NPOESS lifetime."

"This award is an example of NASA, NOAA and the Department of Defense working together to better the return on our research and development investment to the American people, one of the challenges put forth in the president's management agenda," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

As directed by the tri-agency Integrated Program Office (IPO), TRW will be the prime contractor for Shared System Performance Responsibility to accomplish the A&O programs. TRW will develop, fabricate, and deliver the NPOESS satellite and ground systems as well as provide launch support, operations and support services for the system through Initial Operational Capability. The federal program office will provide timely funding, clearly defined requirements, mutual participation of instrument development teams and executive reviews.

“This effort ultimately means the war fighter is receiving higher quality data sooner, and we’re doing it with very significant cost savings, “said Peter B. Teets, under secretary of the Air Force. “This is an example of getting our acquisition programs back on track and saving valuable defense dollars wherever we can.”

NOAA has overall responsibility for the converged system, as well as satellite operations and interactions with the civil and international user communities. The Department of Defense has the lead responsibility for major systems acquisitions, including launch support. NASA has primary responsibility for facilitating the development and incorporation of new cost-effective technologies into the converged system. Representatives from NOAA, DoD, and NASA participated in the NPOESS A&O source selection, which was held in Silver Spring, Md.

For information about the NPOESS program online see: