Northrop Grumman and Raytheon have linked to bid for the next generation of US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration geostationary operational environmental satellites, GOES-R. Work will include development of the ground segment and data distribution, writes Tim Furniss.

Raytheon is already working on a $2.5 million ground network study contract. Other companies are working on similar studies, including Assurance Technology, Lockheed Martin and Spectrum Astro. Other major aerospace consortia, including teams led by Boeing, Lockheed and Loral, are expected to compete to build the GOES-R weather satellite fleet, the first of which is scheduled to be launched in 2012.

Expected to provide 20 years of service, GOES-R (for increased resolution) will produce 50 times more data than the current fleet, enabling new environmental services, including more regular coverage, such as a view of the USA every 5min, rather than 15min. GOES-R will also provide the first operational lightning detection capability from orbit.

Source: Flight International