NOAA 03-R311
Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today that it has awarded a $2M contract to Orbital Sciences Corp., of Dulles. The award is part of a series of 11 contracts awarded to different firms, totaling $20.5 million, for advanced architecture studies for its Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) program. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The contracts – each has a 12-month term, with a potential option of six additional months – are designed to help NOAA define future GOES-R requirements, by analyzing different, commercially viable architectures. Through these contracts, NOAA plans to acquire research and advanced technology information about end-to-end system alternatives from commercial specialists in the aerospace, communications, and data management fields. GOES-R is scheduled for launch in 2012.

NOAA’s GOES satellite provides data products to the commercial, educational, and public sectors to protect lives, property and the environment, and to foster economic growth and promote educational research. The future GOES-R mission is expected to improve the quality and timeliness of environmental (weather and water) forecasts, understand climate variability, management of ecosystems, and efficient transportation of commerce systems; thus, expanding the safety and economic security of the public.

NOAA will use the study results to refine requirements for the GOES-R space, launch, command and control, product generation and distribution, archive and access, and user interfaces to reduce design, cost, and schedule risk. The study results will ensure that viable architectural options are examined for the end-to-end system.

NOAA used the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) procurement mechanism to solicit these study contracts. A BAA is used to advance the agency’s knowledge and understanding of the state of the art. Through this mechanism a 12-month award was made to each of the following firms, at the prices stated. A priced option exists for NOAA to extend the research by six months, if warranted.

In addition to Orbital Sciences Corp., the firms selected for award were: Spectrum Astro, Gilbert, Ariz., $1,000,000; Integral Systems, Inc., Lanham, Md., $500,000; Carr Astronautics, Washington, D.C., $500,000; Raytheon, Aurora, Colo., $2,500,000; Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach, Calif., $2,500,000; Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., Columbia, Md., $500,000; Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., $2,500,000; Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo., $2,500,000; Harris Corp., Melbourne, Fla., $1,500,000; and Lockheed Martin Corp., Greenbelt, Md., $2,500,000.

The contract awards are the result of combined efforts of NOAA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). For years, NOAA and NASA have operated as an interagency team to acquire, build, and launch NOAA’s geostationary and spolar-orbiting environmental satellites.

NOAA’s National Environmental Satellites Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) is the nation’s primary provider of space-based environmental and climate data. It operates the nation’s environmental satellites, which are used for weather and ocean observation and forecasting, climate monitoring and other environmental applications, including sea-surface temperature, fire detection and ozone monitoring.

NESDIS operates three data centers, which house global databases in climatology, oceanography, solid Earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics and paleoclimatology.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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