NASA Selects Geostationary and Extended Orbits Imager Phase A Contracts

Hurricane Humberto (Credit: NOAA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected L3Harris Technologies Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Raytheon Company of El Segundo, California, for the Geostationary and Extended Orbits (GEO-XO) Imager (GXI) Phase A Study contracts. The GXI Phase A Study requirement will provide services to help meet the objectives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GEO-XO program.

The total value of each of these one-year firm-fixed price contracts is approximately $6M. The work will be performed at the contractors’ facilities in Indiana and California.

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L3Harris Selected for Future U.S. Weather Satellite Imager Design Phase Study

  • Continues development of next-generation weather imagers concept
  • Leverages proven, high-maturity technology to provide low-risk solution
  • Provides a capability leap for future weather forecasting

MELBOURNE, Fla., April 5, 2021 (L3Harris Technologies PR) — NASA has selected L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) to develop a concept for the next generation of geostationary weather imagers which will help advance future severe storm tracking, weather forecasting, climate and other Earth observations.

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ClimaCell Adds $77 Million in Funding and Unveils Tomorrow.io

Weather satellite. (Credit: Tomorrow.io)

ClimaCell has changed its name to Tomorrow.io and raised new funding to accelerate SaaS growth and space operations

BOSTON (ClimaCell PR) – ​ClimaCell, the world’s leading weather intelligence platform is excited to announce its new funding round led by Stonecourt Capital and joined by Highline Capital, bringing total funding raised to more than $185 million. The company is also changing its name from ClimaCell to Tomorrow.io.

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EUMETSAT, Arianespace Confirm Launch of Two Meteosat Third Generation Satellites with Ariane 6

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)
  • Arianespace and EUMETSAT signed an update of their Launch Services Agreement for two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites.
  • The sounder satellite MTG-S1 and the imager satellite MTG-I2 will be launched with Ariane 6, the next generation of Ariane family of launchers.
  • Arianespace will also place into orbit the MTG-I1 satellite with an Ariane 5 launcher by the end of 2022. The launch orderbook includes two more state-of-the-art meteorological polar satellites as well as one additional launch, still in option.

EVRY-COURCOURONNES, France, March 23, 2021 (Arianespace PR) — Today, at the occasion of the World Meteorological Day, EUMETSAT and Arianespace signed an update of their Launch Services Agreement for two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites. Through this updated agreement, Arianespace is confirmed by EUMETSAT to launch the sounder satellite MTG-S1 and the imager satellite MTG-I2 with Ariane 6, the next generation of Ariane family of launchers.

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Rocket Lab Set for 19th Electron Launch

Electron launches with OHB satellite. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

Rocket Lab Launch Update

Mission Name: They Go Up So Fast
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Window: No Earlier than 23 March NZT/22 March UTC
Launch Time: No earlier than 11:20 am NZT/22:20 UTC/6:20 p.m. EDT
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Rocket Lab’s 19th Electron mission will deploy a range of satellites for commercial and government satellite operators, as well as place a next-generation Rocket Lab Photon spacecraft in orbit to build spacecraft heritage ahead of Rocket Lab’s mission to the Moon for NASA later this year. 

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NOAA’s GOES-T Weather Satellite Completes Critical Testing in Preparation for December 2021 Launch

DENVER (NOAA PR) — NOAA’s GOES-T, the third in a series of advanced geostationary weather satellites, recently completed rigorous testing to ensure it can withstand the harsh conditions of launch and orbiting in space 22,236 miles above Earth.

During thermal vacuum testing, GOES-T was placed in a large 29 feet x 65 feet chamber and subjected to a vast range of temperatures, soaring as high as 188 degrees Fahrenheit (87 degrees Celsius) and dropping as low as minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 55 degrees Celsius) to simulate the extreme temperatures of launch and the space environment.

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Contract Signed to Build Arctic Weather Satellite

The Arctic Weather Satellite is conceived as a constellation of small polar-orbiting satellites, each carrying a single instrument: a 19-channel cross-track microwave radiometer. (Credit: OHB Sweden)

PARIS (ESA PR) — With the need for satellite data to be received more frequently for faster weather forecasting updates in the Arctic, ESA has signed a contract with OHB Sweden to a build prototype satellite for the Arctic Weather Satellite mission.

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Redwire Selected As Solar Array Supplier for PlanetiQ Constellation Spacecraft

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 9, 2021 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, has been selected by PlanetiQ, a commercial weather satellite constellation operator, to supply solar arrays for their HD GPS-RO weather satellites. The contract will include delivery of a 130-watt solar array for PlanetiQ’s spacecraft. The agreement marks PlanetiQ’s third flight contract for Redwire’s solar arrays. Previously, Redwire’s subsidiary Roccor delivered two sets of solar arrays to PlanetiQ, dating back to 2018. 

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Weather Prediction for Any Condition

Raytheon Intelligence & Space is developing a new class of small satellites with vastly improved capabilities including higher-resolution imaging and greater durability, all while achieving lower size, weight and power requirements. Those improvements could benefit both civil and military customers. (Credit: Raytheon)

New small satellites to improve weather imaging day or night

ARLINGTON, Va. (Raytheon PR) — Today’s weather forecasts can help people decide whether to grab an umbrella on the way out or get ready for a big storm. A new class of small satellites in development at Raytheon Intelligence & Space could provide even better data to inform those decisions.

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General Atomics to Build Electro-Optical Infrared Weather System Prototype for U.S. Space Force

SAN DIEGO, Calif., 04 August 2020 (General Atomics PR) — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has been selected for the United States Space Force Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) satellite program under the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC). GA-EMS will design and manufacture a prototype spacecraft, integrate the EWS payload and provide on-orbit mission control services to support the collection of theater weather imagery and cloud characterization data for worldwide military operational use.

“In addition to our ongoing Orbital Test Bed programs like the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) for NASA and Argos 4 for the United States Air Force, GA-EMS is pleased to support critical space missions,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “With EWS we will continue to leverage our expertise in developing scalable architectures and volume-efficient packaging, as well as our expanding satellite manufacturing capabilities to rapidly design and deliver an EO/IR satellite solution to meet the proposed EWS launch date in 2022.”

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NOAA’s JPSS-2 Satellite Instruments Ready for Delivery to the Spacecraft

The Integrated Electronics Module was recently integrated on the JPSS-2 spacecraft. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

by Peter Jacobs
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — In four different U.S. cities are four shipping containers, each one carrying an instrument that will travel to space to capture critical data on our planet’s weather and climate. 

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EUMETSAT Shifts Weather Satellites to Ariane 6

DARMSTADT, Germany — Meeting on 30 June in virtual configuration, the Council of Europe’s operational satellite agency for weather and climate, EUMETSAT, approved the transition plan from the second to the third generation of Meteosat geostationary satellites for 2022-2026.

As part of this plan, EUMETSAT will move Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) spacecraft Meteosat-9 over the Indian Ocean in 2022 to replace the ageing Meteosat-8 and continue MSG observations of that region until at least 2025. Meteosat observations of the Indian Ocean started in 1998 with a first-generation satellite, Meteosat-5.

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NASA Awards Contract for Earth Observing Satellite Instrument

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Atmosphere Science Investigator-led Processing System (SIPS) contract to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.

The total value of this cost-no fee contract is $17,084,053. The contract includes a base year that begins on July 1, and has four options to extend the contract through March 31, 2025.

The contractor will process and reprocess the data from the VIIRS instrument from the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) series of satellites. The contractor will deliver Earth Observing System (EOS)-like standard and near real time atmosphere data products to the Earth Observing System Data and Information System as required by NASA Headquarters Earth Science Division for NASA researchers.

The JPSS missions are funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide global environmental data in low-Earth polar orbit in support of NOAA’s mission. NASA is the acquisition agent for the flight systems. NASA also acquires JPSS data for its research objectives.

NOAA Claims $735 Million in Savings on Polar Follow-On Satellite Program

NOAA has reported that it has found $735 million in savings in the Polar Follow-on (PFO) weather satellite program.

In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), NOAA Acting Administrator Neil Jacobs said the program life cycle cost (LCC) has been reduced from $7.57 billion to $6.84 billion for fiscal years 2016 through 2038.

“The PFO Program has performed exceptionally well and the new LCC has sufficient cost and schedule margin to mitigate risk due to the improved posture,” Jacobs wrote.

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NOAA Harnessing Power of New Satellite Data this Hurricane Season

Hurricane Humberto (Credit: NOAA)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — With predictions for an above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA forecasters have added meteorological muscle from a new  combination of satellite data flowing into its computer models. 

The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC-2) is a new fleet of six small satellites launched last June. Since May 26, the constellation has begun feeding more than 4,000 vertical sets of measurements of atmospheric temperature and humidity in the tropics and subtropics daily into our forecast models. Measuring the moisture in and around tropical cyclones is important because it is a key ingredient for their development and intensification.

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