With over 45 years experience in providing satellite ground data processing and mission command and control systems, Harris Corporation was awarded the Ground Segment portion of the GOES-R (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) Systems Acquisition and Operations (A&O) contract by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in May 2009. GOES-R is the next generation of NOAA's ongoing GOES system. The GOES satellites are the primary tools used for the detection and tracking of hurricanes and other severe weather in the continental United States and western hemisphere. The Harris team’s ground segment features a low risk, cost effective, and high performance architecture that is ready to meet the requirements of the new system today—with the flexibility and scalability to be easily expanded to meet the changing needs of the GOES-R mission as it evolves over its more than 20-year lifespan.
As the prime contractor, Harris is leading the team of domain experts from Boeing, AER, Honeywell, Carr Astronautics, Wyle labs, and ARES to design, develop, deploy, and sustain an innovative solution for the advanced GOES-R ground segment. The Harris team possesses the unique and advanced qualifications required to meet and exceed the stringent data receipt and processing, product generation and distribution, and mission command and control requirements of the new generation satellites. The anticipated first launch of the new spacecraft is in 2015.
The current system consists of 2 operational spacecraft in geostationary orbits over the equator with GOES East located at 75 degrees West longitude, and GOES West, located at 135 degrees West longitude, both at an altitude of 22,240 miles. The new GOES-R satellites will provide:
Visual and infrared images of the entire hemisphere provided every 5 minutes at .5KM resolution
Simultaneous coverage of severe weather events every 30 seconds with no interruption to full hemisphere coverage
Atmospheric soundings over the western hemisphere
Continuous monitoring of the space environment
Detection and mapping of lightning activity
GOES-R Antenna Segment
Harris, with its partner General Dynamics, was selected in April 2010 to develop and deploy the final remaining element of the Ground System—the GOES-R Antenna Segment. The contract is to design, develop, install, and maintain the critical GOES-R antenna subsystem for the GOES-R ground segment. As the major subcontractor to Harris, General Dynamics will fabricate the ancillary hardware. The contract includes:
Installation of 3 new 16.5-meter multi-band (X, L, and S) antennas at both the GOES-R Command and Data Acquisition Site (CDAS) in Wallops, Virginia, and the Remote Backup Site (RBU) in Fairmont, West Virginia.
Refurbishment of 4 existing 9-meter L-band antennas at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Suitland, Maryland.
Integration of the antenna subsystem into the overall ground segment, as well as the software interfaces to the GOES-R Mission Management System.
Weather Experts Trust Harris
The Harris team's flexible, scalable, modular architecture is designed to meet NOAA's critical operational performance mission—both now and as the mission evolves over its 20-year lifetime. The GOES-R program represents a viable, low-risk development, deployment, and sustainment opportunity.