On behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA has selected two firms for the the Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) Atmospheric Composition (ACX) Phase A Study. These firms will provide services to help meet the objectives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GeoXO program.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, and Raytheon Intelligence & Space of El Segundo, California will both receive twenty-month firm-fixed-price contracts for approximately $5 million. The work will be performed at the contractors’ facilities.

The principal purpose of this effort is to provide a definition-phase study of a GeoXO ACX instrument. The ACX instrument will be a hyperspectral, ultraviolet through visible imaging spectrometer that is planned to fly on the NOAA GeoXO series of geostationary satellites. The selected firms will develop the instrument concept and mature necessary technologies. The study will help define the instrument’s potential performance, risks, costs, and development schedule. The results of the study will be used to set performance requirements for the ACX instrument implementation contract, which is planned for award in 2024.

Atmospheric composition measurements from geostationary orbit will provide critical data for the air quality forecasting and public health communities. The instrument will monitor air pollutants emitted by transportation, power generation, volcanoes, and wildfires on an hourly basis, as well as pollutants generated from these emissions once they are in the atmosphere. This operational geostationary instrument will represent an important advancement over the once-per-day observations provided by current polar-orbiting instruments. These measurements will improve air quality forecasting and will help to mitigate health hazards resulting from air pollution, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders.

NOAA’s GeoXO satellite system is the groundbreaking mission that will advance Earth observations from geostationary orbit. The mission will supply vital information to address major environmental challenges of the future in support of weather, ocean, and climate operations in the United States. The GeoXO mission will continue and expand observations provided by the GOES-R series of satellites. GeoXO will bring new capabilities to address emerging environmental issues and challenges that threaten the security and well-being of every American. NOAA is working to ensure these critical observations are in place by the early 2030s,when the GOES-R Series nears the end of its operational lifetime.

The GeoXO mission is a collaborative partnership between NOAA and NASA. NOAA funds, operates, and manages the mission and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the acquisition of the Phase A formulation contracts.

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