WASHINGTON — Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services of Aurora, Colo., has received a $185 million contract modification from NASA for the ground system for the nation’s next polar-orbiting weather satellite constellation, according to a Feb. 28 press release from the company.

The change brings Raytheon’s total contract value for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Common Ground System (CGS) to $1.7 billion. The new system is expected to increase availability and delivery speeds of data from the JPSS satellites, the first of which is scheduled for launch in 2017.

The CGS will help support the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s three JPSS weather satellites through 2022, according to the release.

“Our customers’ high consequence missions demand faster data they can trust,” said Lynn Dugle, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “We have been developing these data delivery and information assurance capabilities as part of our commitment to providing common ground stations that can support multiple platforms.”

In January, the company completed a critical design review on the second block of the program, which would support the first JPSS satellite. 

The CGS also supports the Defense Department’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, Europe’s polar-orbiting Metop satellites, Japan’s Global Change Observation Mission, and other programs and activities.

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Mike Gruss is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews. He joined the publication in January 2013 to cover military space. Previously, he worked as a reporter and columnist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. and The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. He...