Two firms win contracts for satellite development

A tri-agency program office led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week awarded two contracts worth a total of $41 million to help design the next-generation environmental satellite system.

Lockheed Martin Missiles&Space, Sunnyvale, Calif., and TRW Space and Electronics, Redondo Beach, Calif., won the contracts, which are valued at more than $20 million each. The companies will work on the preliminary design and system architecture of the environmental satellite system that is expected to enter operation in the next decade.

The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) will combine civilian and military environmental satellite programs into a single national system. The new satellites will improve short-term weather forecasts and long-term climate prediction. The NPOESS Integrated Program Office, which runs the program and made the awards, consists of NOAA, NASA and Defense Department staff. NOAA has overall responsibility for the converged system.

The NPOESS program office plans to conduct a source selection in 2002 to determine the prime contractor that will build and deploy the total NPOESS program.

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