Space

NOOA Awards L3Harris the contract to take charge of the former’s Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 observatory

Summary

L3 Harris Technologies won the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) worth $43.8 million. It makes L3 Harris Technologies in charge of the development, deployment, and operation of NOAA’s space weather command and control system. In addition to that, L3Harris […]

L3 Harris Technologies won the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) worth $43.8 million. It makes L3 Harris Technologies in charge of the development, deployment, and operation of NOAA’s space weather command and control system. In addition to that, L3Harris will also offer a 2-year operations support. The contract awarded to this company based in Melbourne, Florida, will take five years. Equally important, the deal is a cost-plus contract.

If things go as planned, its launch will be on NASA’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe in 2025. During its recent news release, NOAA revealed something interesting about this mission. Interestingly, it is related to the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) – R Series Core Ground System. To be precise, one can say that the upcoming mission is an extension of the old one. GOES-R Series ground segment’s prime contractor is L3Harris Technologies.

Whereas the manager of this contract is its Satellite and Information Service, the one with the overall responsibility is its Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis. The general work will take place in Melbourne, Florida, where the company has its headquarter. However, all the matters concerning installing the equipment will occur in Suitland, Maryland, where NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility is situated. That’s not the only place because of other locations such as NOAA’s Consolidated Backup Facility (CBU) in Fairmont, West Virginia, and NOAA’s Wallops Command and Data Acquisition Station in Wallops, Virginia.

It is no secret that space weather events can affect various aspects of Earth, including economic prosperity and national prosperity. Different areas likely to be affected include the power grid, satellite systems, navigation, and telecommunication. That’s where the Space Weather Follow On-L1 mission comes in handy. It helps NOAA’s National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, access coronal mass ejection and solar wind imagery. Consequently, monitoring the space weather becomes easy and timely, which could make a lot of difference.

It is important to note that this program collaborates between NOAA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The responsibility of acquiring, developing, testing, and integrating the Space Weather Follow On-L1lies on NOAA. On the other hand, NASA is in charge of procuring the satellite and launch services eventually. In other words, NOAA is in charge of the command and control system on the ground, whereas NASA is in charge of its lift-off.

Therefore, come 2025, monitoring space weather may become easier than ever before. After all, data will be easy to correct thanks to the upcoming NOAA’s Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 observatory. All it has to do is see the light of the day by then.

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