NOAA taps BAE to build ocean color instrument for GeoXO constellation

June 3, 2024
BAE Systems will build three instruments for NOAA's GeoXO mission, which will broaden and improve on observations of current geostationary weather satellites.

BROOMFIELD, Colo., - BAE Systems in Broomfield, Colo., has been chosen to build the Ocean Color Instrument (OCX) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite constellation. With this selection, BAE Systems is now contracted to build all three hyperspectral instruments for the mission, including OCX, the GeoXO Sounder (GXS), and the Atmospheric Composition Instrument (ACX).

GeoXO aims to enhance observations made by NOAA's current Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites-R series (GOES-R) of weather satellites. The constellation is scheduled for launch in the early 2030s and will operate through 2055.

The OCX instrument, developed by BAE Systems, is a hyperspectral imager that will provide high-spatial resolution observations of the Great Lakes and the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It will capture data across a spectrum from ultraviolet to near-infrared light, offering insights into water quality, ocean biology, chemistry, and ecosystem changes. OCX will also deliver more frequent observations, completing surveys every two hours to enhance monitoring of rapidly changing conditions.

Related: NASA selects Ball Aerospace to build instrument for NOAA observation constellation

"OCX offers exciting new capabilities that will provide NOAA and other end users with novel insights into the dynamics of our aquatic ecosystems, allowing us to better monitor endangered species, track oil spills and harmful algal blooms, and protect key economic drivers like reef systems and fisheries," said Dr. Alberto Conti, vice president and general manager of Civil Space for BAE Systems Space & Mission Systems. "This selection reinforces our commitment to advancing scientific endeavors that directly contribute to safeguarding public health and promoting environmental sustainability."

In addition to OCX, BAE Systems is developing the GXS and ACX instruments. GXS will supply real-time data on the vertical distribution of atmospheric moisture, winds, and temperature to improve weather prediction models and short-term severe weather forecasting. ACX will conduct hourly, daytime air quality measurements to enhance air quality forecasts and track emissions such as aerosol particles, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, glyoxal, sulfur dioxide, and ozone.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!