WCDAS Goes-R antennas
The Wallops Command and Data Acquisition Station in Wallops, Virginia, which houses GOES-R antennas. Credit: Harris Corp.

WASHINGTON — ASC Signal of Plano, Texas, won a subcontract from Harris Corp., the ground segment provider for the next generation of U.S. civilian geostationary weather satellites, to provide eight L-band antennas for the program, ASC announced in a Feb. 24 press release.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

The antennas, which will receive signals from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R satellites, will be delivered and installed before the first of those spacecraft is launched. Current plans call for launching the first GOES-R series satellite, one of four being built by Denver-based Lockheed Martin Space Systems, in March 2016.

Meanwhile, Harris of Melbourne, Florida, said in a separate press release that it has finished installing and integrating GOES-R information technology infrastructure at three locations: NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland; the Wallops Data and Acquisition Station at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia; and NOAA’s Consolidated Backup Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia.

The installed infrastructure included 2,100 servers, 149 racks of network equipment, 317 work stations and 3 petabytes of data storage services, Harris said Feb. 25. The upgrades will allow NOAA’s National Weather Service to create forecasts from GOES and other data in five minutes rather than the current 30 minutes, according to the release the company put out Feb. 25.

Harris’ GOES-R ground systems prime contract was worth about $735 million at the time of its award in 2009. The satellites in the $11 billion GOES-R program will keep constant watch over U.S. coastlines through 2036.


Dan Leone is a SpaceNews staff writer, covering NASA, NOAA and a growing number of entrepreneurial space companies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public communications from the American University in Washington.