Melbourne, Fla.-based defense electronics firm Harris Corp., said Sept. 23 that it is partnering with General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies of Newton, N.C., to compete for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contract to build ground antennas for Geostationary Operational Satellite-R (GOES-R), a next-generation U.S. geostationary-orbiting weather satellite system.

The Ground Segment Antenna System is one of three NOAA procurements that comprise the overall GOES-R Ground Segment Project. The other two procurements are known as the Access Subsystem and the Ground Segment.

NOAA has not yet released a request for proposals for the Access Subsystem. In May, Harris Corp. beat rival Raytheon Co. to win the Ground Segment contract, the single biggest piece of the GOES-R ground segment procurement.

Under a contract potentially worth $736 million, Harris is responsible for the design, development and deployment of ground infrastructure that will command and control the GOES-R spacecraft and provide for the processing and distribution of weather data to more than 10,000 direct users.

Harris said in a Sept. 23 news release that if it is selected for the antenna system segment, it will work with General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies to provide six 16- to 18-meter antennas and associated equipment at the primary GOES-R data reception site in Wallops, Va., and at a remote backup site in West Virginia. The Harris/General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies team also would upgrade four 9-meter antennas at NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Md.

The antenna work would begin in 2010. The first GOES-R series satellite is scheduled for 2015.