EL SEGUNDO, Calif., (April 12, 2021) – Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business (NYSE: RTX), was awarded a study contract from NASA for a next-generation environmental observation imager for Geostationary and Extended Orbits, or GEO-XO. This imager could be the follow-on program to the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series, the geostationary weather satellites currently operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“This is one of the most important space-based instruments in the United States, providing severe weather predictions that help keep people and property safe,” said Paul Meyer, vice president for Space & C2 Systems at RI&S. “We must ensure this mission continues without time gaps, and our space-proven technology will enable a design that will allow that, day or night.”
Over the next year, RI&S will develop a design that meets capability requirements and schedule, while also implementing more advanced technology.
“Our design covers the Earth more efficiently and with a wider range of signals – faint signals like ocean temperatures to bright signals like fires,” said Jeff Puschell, principal engineering fellow for Space Systems at RI&S. “We also have better resolution and more bands, including the day-night band, which provide more complete observations than current systems.”
RI&S will mature its design by using the previous NOAA study on Real Time Imager, which concluded in Fall 2020, and mature technologies from systems like Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and the Space Tracking and Surveillance System. Much like RI&S’ VIIRS, GEO-XO’s imager will also provide detection and monitoring of environmental conditions like wildfires, smoke, dust, volcanic ash, drought and flooding.
NASA will manage the development and launch of the satellites. NOAA will operate them and deliver data to users worldwide. The first GEO-XO launch is planned for the early 2030s before the GOES-R Series reaches the end of its operational lifetime. GEO-XO will maintain and advance NOAA’s critical geostationary observations through 2055.
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