TRW has been awarded a $2.9 billion contract to build the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), the USA’s next-generation meteorological satellite system.
The contract was awarded by the NPOESS Integrated Program Office (IPO), a joint effort between the Department of Commerce, Department of Defence and NASA.
According to TRW, NPOESS could be worth in excess of $4 billion over the life of the program.
NPOESS will reportedly combine the USA’s military and civilian environmental satellite programs into a single national system, which will significantly improve weather forecasting and climate prediction.
TRW will develop, fabricate, and deliver the NPOESS satellite and ground systems as well as provide launch support, operations and support services for the system through Initial Operational Capability.
The US Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has overall responsibility for the converged system, as well as satellite operations and interactions with the civil and international user communities.
The Department of Defence has the lead agency responsibility for major systems acquisitions, including launch support. NASA has primary responsibility for facilitating the development and incorporation of new cost-effective technologies into the converged system.