Ball Aerospace has been awarded a contract worth $486.9 million by NASA for the delivery of a sounder for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite program. The contract is a cost-plus-award-fee contract and includes options for additional sounders.
Under this contract, Ball will construct and deliver one GeoXO sounder and integrate it with the next-generation NOAA weather satellite. They will also provide support for the first flight instrument. The contract specifies a period of performance that covers 10 years of on-orbit operations and five years of on-orbit storage for each flight instrument.
Ball Aerospace will be conducting their work at their facility in Boulder, Colorado, as well as at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The GeoXO Sounder, known as GXS, is an advanced hyperspectral infrared instrument. Its purpose is to detect infrared light and provide real-time information about the vertical distribution of atmospheric moisture, temperature, and winds over the Western Hemisphere. The data captured by GXS is expected to significantly enhance the accuracy of numerical weather prediction, short-term forecasts of convection and severe weather, as well as hurricane track and intensity forecasts.
The GeoXO program, succeeding the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites – R Series program, is projected to begin collecting data in the early 2030s. In March, L3Harris was selected by NOAA to supply the imager instrument for the GeoXO satellites under a separate $765.5 million contract.
For the fiscal year 2024, NOAA has requested a budget of $417.4 million for the GeoXO program, including its operations, data products, and funding management. NASA, in partnership with commercial entities, is responsible for the development, construction, and launch of the GeoXO instruments and spacecraft.