Three win next-gen satellite deals

When they're not building missiles and fighter jets for the government, Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. will be making weather forecasting a little easier.

The three contractors each won $10 million, six-month contracts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the definition and risk reduction phase of the country's next-generation satellite system called the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R program (GOES-R). The awards carry a six-month option and a 10-month option for subsequent phases of the program.

Under their contracts, the three companies will compare performance and costs of alternative system architectures, determine system requirements and operations functions for GOES-R, and produce system and segment designs for subsequent phases.

The GOES program provides continuous monitoring of meteorological conditions in the Western hemisphere. The two active GOES spacecraft operated by NOAA also track the space environment, receive and transmit search-and-rescue data and relay ground-based environmental data.

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