US space agency NASA has selected two firms to undertake the Phase A Study for NOAA’s Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) Spacecraft.
Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, and Maxar Space of Palo Alto, California, were both awarded 10-month firm-fixed-price contracts valued at approximately US$5m. The work will be performed at the contractors’ facilities.
NOAA’s GeoXO Program is the follow-on to the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites – R (GOES-R) Series Program. The GeoXO satellites plan to improve upon the imagery provided by the GOES-R Series, continue lightning mapping observations, and introduce new technologies, including hyperspectral infrared sounding, ocean color and atmospheric composition instruments.
NOAA is currently planning a three-satellite GeoXO operational constellation. Spacecraft in the current GOES-East and GOES-West positions will carry an imager, lightning mapper and ocean color instrument, and a centrally located spacecraft will carry a sounder and atmospheric composition instrument. This constellation can also accommodate a partner payload on the spacecraft flying in the central location.
The principal purpose of the newly awarded contracts is to provide a definition-phase study of a GeoXO spacecraft. The selected firms will develop the spacecraft concept, mature necessary technologies and help define the spacecraft’s potential performance, risks, costs, and development schedule. The results of the study will be used to set performance requirements for the spacecraft implementation contract, which is planned for award in 2024.
NOAA’s GeoXO satellite system will advance Earth observations from geostationary orbit, supplying vital information to address major environmental challenges of the future in support of weather, ocean and climate operations in the USA. The GeoXO mission will continue and expand observations provided by the GOES-R series of satellites, bringing new capabilities to address emerging environmental issues and challenges. NOAA is working to ensure these critical observations are in place by the early 2030s when the GOES-R Series nears the end of its operational lifetime.