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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced a new development strategy for its next generation of geostationary satellites, known as GOES-R, which promises to upgrade current weather and environmental monitoring capabilities. The new approach also will ensure continuity of coverage provided by the satellite series. The first in the series is scheduled to launch in December 2014.
Under the new strategy, NOAA and NASA will share development responsibility for the new satellites through multiple contracts. NOAA will retain overall program management responsibility and provide all of the funding. NOAA also will acquire the ground system, operate the system following satellite launch, and develop algorithms. NASA will award separate contracts for the satellites, instruments and launch vehicle.
“The data and services provided by GOES-R will vastly improve our ability to monitor and forecast weather and environmental changes,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Before we can reap those benefits, however, we must ensure successful development of the satellites. We are confident we have a strong team and plan in place to complete this mission.”
“NOAA reviewed all aspects of the GOES-R program, and factored in lessons learned from other satellite acquisition programs, recommendations from our GOES-R Independent Review Team, reports from the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Commerce Inspector General,” said Mary E. Kicza, who was named assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service in November 2006. “We are drawing from NOAA’s long and successful track record with operating geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite programs in this process. We look forward to working with NASA to make GOES-R a success. Our cooperation with NASA leverages the strengths of both responsible government agencies.”
The new GOES-R will introduce a new era for U.S. geostationary environmental remote sensing. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) will improve severe weather forecasting and hurricane tracking by scanning the earth more rapidly and in more spectral bands that the current GOES imager.
An announcement of this change is also available through Federal Business Opportunities (http://www.fedbizopps.gov).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
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