NOAA Continues to Study Commercial Data Buys

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The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its third and final round of study contracts totaling $100,000 to three U.S. companies as part of a NOAA effort to validate the feasibility of buying some Earth and space weather data from commercial companies, agency spokesman John Leslie said Sept. 29.

Iridium satellite LLC of Bethesda, Md., was awarded a $25,000 contract to validate the price and feasibility of monitoring ozone profiles from space; Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., was awarded two contracts totaling $50,000 to validate the price and feasibility of monitoring ozone profiles and aerosol particles from space; and Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev., was awarded a $25,000 contract to validate the price and feasibility of monitoring ozone profiles from space.

All three companies had already received similar contracts this year to help  NOAA evaluate its potential use of commercial space and Earth weather data.