NOAA 2002-R206b
Contact: Susan Weaver
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a contract to Kaysam Worldwide, Inc. of Totowa, N.J., to manufacture weather balloons used to gather data for daily weather forecasts. The fixed-price award with options has a value of $5,145,160.

NOAA's National Weather Service releases approximately 80,000 balloons each year from 102 sites around the country and in the Pacific Ocean, as part of the Upper Air Program. The balloons, which reach altitudes of 19 miles, carry atmospheric instruments measuring pressure, temperature, humidity and wind velocity constantly throughout their flight. These data are transmitted to ground computers.

"Atmospheric data from weather balloons is a major source of quantitative information used to generate weather forecasts," said Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly, USAF (ret.), director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "Weather balloons are an important part of the weather forecast process, and help the Weather Service fulfill its mission to protect lives and property."

Kaysam Worldwide, Inc. has been manufacturing helium- or hydrogen-filled meteorological balloons made to withstand air pressure and temperature changes at high altitudes since World War II, and is the only manufacturer of meteorological balloons in the United States.

NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA's National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. To learn more about the NOAA's National Weather Service, visit