AT&T builds VPN for government satellite system

AT&T Government Solutions has been given an all-systems-go to continue work on a global communications network for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) under a nine-year contract extension worth as much as $37.5 million.

NPOESS is the next-generation polar-orbiting environmental monitoring system for use by military and civilian agencies. It will provide faster and more accurate meteorological data with higher fidelity than existing systems.

Under the contract extension from Raytheon Co., AT&T Government Solutions will build an IP virtual private network that will eventually link 25 NPOESS locations worldwide. The network will provide weather data within 28 minutes of in-orbit measurement, about four times faster than current data links.

"Real-time access to accurate weather forecasts is critical for both military and civilian operations," said Don Herring, senior vice president at AT&T Government Solutions, a business unit of AT&T Inc.

The VPN will take advantage of AT&T's state-of-the-art secure data network to provide reliability and security for the Defense and Commerce departments, NASA and other federal agencies.

NPOESS is managed by an integrated program office composed of DOD, NASA, and Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Northrop Grumman Corp. is the prime contractor, and as the largest subcontractor and principal teammate, Raytheon is responsible for developing the data processing and command and control segments.

AT&T, of San Antonio, ranks No. 38 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime 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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