Harris targets pair of key satellite deals

Harris Corp. has set its sights on two large-scale satellite support contracts from the Air Force and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Harris has formed a team to compete for a six-and-a-half-year, $455 million Network and Space Operations and Maintenance contract that calls for operations and maintenance support to the 50th Space Wing's Air Force Satellite Control Network, based in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Satellite Control Network oversees launches, orbital support and problem corrections for a variety of satellite systems. The contract, which is expected to be awarded later this year, will provide command and control systems, communications, antennas and other support for the global network.

The Harris-led team consists of Lockheed Martin Information Technology, L-3 Communications Titan Group, Faith Enterprises Inc., ASRC Aerospace Corp., Arctic Slope World Services Corp., Nortel Government Solutions Inc. and Gunther Douglas Inc.

Harris has been providing services to the Air Force Satellite Control Network and global positioning system ground networks since 2000 as part of the $220 million Air Force Operational Space Services and Support program.

Harris also is bidding to become the prime contractor and systems integrator for the ground segment of NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite ? Series R program, known as GOES-R.

The company did not provide financial details of the program.

Scheduled for launch in 2014, GOES-R's advanced sensor technology will provide much higher imagery resolution and data frequency than the current GOES spacecraft family, NOAA's primary tool to detect and track hurricanes and other severe weather in the United States and the Western Hemisphere.

The current GOES system provides imagery, atmospheric measurements and space environmental monitoring every 30 minutes with visual and infrared imagery at 1 and 4 kilometer resolutions. GOES-R will improve the rate of imagery coverage to every 5 minutes.

The ground segment, which is slated to be operational through 2029, consists of receiving and processing satellite data, generating and distributing information from the data, and command and control of orbiting satellites.

Harris of Melbourne, Fla., has 14,000 employees and had annual sales of $3.4 billion in fiscal 2006. The company ranks No. 22 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of the largest federal IT 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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