NOAA Seeks Fresh Tech Ideas for Weather Satellite Fleets  


The nation’s weather agency is looking for new tech ideas that could beef up its data collection and forecasting efforts.

The agency that operates the nation’s weather satellites wants to hear innovative technical ideas for how to enhance or improve their effectiveness.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration houses the National Weather Service, which employs satellites to monitor severe weather worldwide and provides enormous swaths of raw data to forecasters on the ground. In early October, NOAA released two broad agency announcements soliciting “fresh ideas for new instrument technologies and concepts for future use on its advanced geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites.”

The solicitations specifically apply to NOAA’s two next-generation satellite programs. NOAA seeks “new ways to supplement observations for its Joint Polar Satellite System,” which had its first satellite come online last year. Polar-orbiting satellites circle the Earth 14 times per day and provide imagery of the entire globe twice daily. In addition, NOAA seeks “new technologies by 2030 to continue monitoring both environmental and space weather” with its geostationary satellite fleet, called GOES-R.

Responses to the BAAs—NOAA specifically seeks white papers—are due Nov. 7. The BAAs state NOAA will have up to $9.99 million with which to invest in funding the most promising ideas. NOAA will hold two industry days on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18 to engage the scientific community and industry regarding the BAAs.