Weather predictions

A Boeing-led team has received a $10-million contract to define the next-generation weather satellite for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

A Boeing-led team has received a $10-million contract to define the next-generation weather satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The Program Definition and Risk Reduction is a study contract for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Program, known as GOES-R. The contract contains two options, which if exercised will extend the contract another 16 months and increase its value to $30 million. The Boeing-led team includes Harris Corp, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc, and Carr Astronautics.

The goal of the study contract is to analyse the GOES-R requirements and to develop a system solution satisfying those requirements through incorporation of advanced sensing technology, ground data processing, communications, and command and control. GOES-R will also be a key element of NOAA’s global earth observation system of systems.

When ready for launch in 2012, GOES-R will improve the timeliness and accuracy of weather forecasts and will also improve support for the detection and observation of meteorological phenomena. These improvements will be accomplished with enhanced data handling on the ground, as well as an improved spacecraft integrated with sensors, such as the advanced baseline imager and the hyperspectral environmental suite. Boeing claims these GOES-R improvements will directly affect public safety, protection of property, and economic health and development.

Boeing is currently the prime contractor for the next series of geosynchronous environmental systems, GOES N-O-P. The GOES N-O-P program consists of three imaging spacecraft and the supporting ground command and control elements. The GOES-N satellite will provide imaging and sounding of the environment of the western hemisphere; information which will result in earlier and more precise weather warnings for the public.