NASA selects companies for study of NOAA’s Atmospheric Composition Instrument

NASA selects companies for study of NOAA’s Atmospheric Composition Instrument

Press release from: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday May 17th 2022

On behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA has selected two companies for the Geostationary Extended Observation (GeoXO) Phase A study of Atmospheric Composition (ACX). These companies will provide services to help achieve the goals of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GeoXO program.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, and Raytheon Intelligence & Space of El Segundo, Calif., will both receive fixed-price, twenty-month contracts for approximately $5 million. The work will be performed at the contractors’ facilities.

The main objective of this effort is to provide a study in the definition phase of a GeoXO ACX instrument. The ACX instrument will be a hyperspectral, ultraviolet-to-visible imaging spectrometer, slated to fly on the NOAA GeoXO series of geostationary satellites. The selected companies will develop the instrument concept and mature the necessary technologies. The study will define the potential performance, risks, costs and development schedule of the instrument. The results of the study will be used to define the performance requirements for the ACX instrument implementation contract, which is expected to be awarded in 2024.

Atmospheric composition measurements from geostationary orbit will provide essential data to the air quality forecasting and public health communities. The instrument will monitor air pollutants emitted by transportation, power generation, volcanoes and wildfires on an hourly basis, as well as pollutants generated by these emissions once they are in the atmosphere. This operational geostationary instrument will represent a significant advance over the daily observations provided by current instruments in polar orbit. These measures will improve air quality forecasts and help mitigate health risks from air pollution, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.

NOAA’s GeoXO satellite system is the breakthrough mission that will advance Earth observations from geostationary orbit. The mission will provide vital information to address the grand environmental challenges of the future in support of weather, ocean, and climate operations in the United States. The GeoXO mission will continue and expand the observations provided by the GOES-R series of satellites. GeoXO will bring new capabilities to address emerging environmental issues and challenges that threaten the safety and well-being of every American. NOAA is working to ensure these critical observations are in place in the early 2030s, when the GOES-R series nears the end of its operational life.

The GeoXO mission is a collaborative partnership between NOAA and NASA. NOAA funds, operates and manages the mission and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland manages the acquisition of Phase A formulation contracts.

For more information on the GeoXO mission, please visit:

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