NOAA 03-128
Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today that it has awarded 12 contracts, 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.

Data from NOAA’s GOES spacecraft provide short-term advance weather warning 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 its forecasts, expanding the safety and economic security of the public.

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

The awards will help NOAA acquire research and technologically advanced information about systems architectures from commercial specialists in the aeronautical and space systems engineering fields. NOAA will take these results and explore potential end-to-end systems architectures for its future GOES-R program, which is scheduled for launch in 2012.

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

At the conclusion of these commercial studies, NOAA will modify its requirement for the GOES-R space, launch, command and control, and data production segments to help reduce future design, development, cost and schedule risks. The contract results will ensure that viable architectural options are available to integrate the meteorological data acquired from space remote sensors, with the ground acquisition systems, and link it to the ultimate products delivered to the users.

NOAA used the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) procurement mechanism to solicit these study contracts. A BAA is used to advance the agency’s state of the art, or increase its knowledge or understanding of the science. 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.

The firms selected for award were: Spectrum Astro, Gilbert, Ariz., $1,000,000; Integral Systems, Inc., Lanham, Md., $500,000; Raytheon, Aurora, Colo., $2,500,000; Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach, Calif., $2,500,000; Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., Columbia, Md., $500,000; Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Va., $2,000,000; Space Systems, Loral, Palo Alto, Calif., $2,000,000; 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, and Carr Astronautics, Washington, D.C., $500,000.

NOAA Satellites and Information Service is the nation’s primary source of space-based meteorological 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. NOAA’s commercial licensing program draws on NOAA’s heritage in satellite operations and remote sensing applications.

NOAA Satellites and Information Service also 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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