Harris antennas will greatly accelerate NOAA weather data processing

$130 million contract calls for building ground antenna system and upgrades

Harris Corp. has won a 10-year, $130 million contract to build a ground antenna system for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that will enable the agency to receive and process weather data 40 times faster than today, as well as deliver weather images directly to end users.

Harris and its teammates, General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies and ARES Corp., will supply the antennas and control systems for NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R (GOES-R) program, a Harris statement today said.

The antennas will provide communications links for command, telemetry and sensor data, as well as the communications link to direct data users.

The contract covers the design, fabrication and testing of six new 16.4-meter antennas and upgrades to four 9.1-meter antennas. They will be built to withstand sustained winds of 110 miles per hour and gusts of up to 140 mph.

The 16.4-meter antennas will be installed at the NOAA Wallops Command and Data Acquisition Station in Wallops, Va., and at a remote backup site in Fairmont, W.Va. Upgrades to the 9.1-meter antennas will take place at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Md.

The new antennas will operate with next-generation GOES-R satellites and will be compatible with existing GOES-N through GOES-P satellites.

The antennas are designed to operate continuously for the life of the GOES-R program, the Harris announcement said.

Harris Corp., of Melbourne, Fla., ranks No. 13 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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