GeoOptics and Spire Global will each provide space-based GNSS radio occultation data to NOAA for the purpose of demonstrating data quality and potential value to NOAA’s weather forecasts and warnings. This approach is a win-win solution. Both NOAA and the commercial firms will gain a trial run of the NOAA evaluation process, a necessary first step to considering sustained operational use of new commercial weather data.
The companies have until April 30, 2017, to complete the delivery of their data. NESDIS will conduct an assessment of the data through the end of FY 2017 and will produce its final report in early FY 2018.
Further information on the contract awards is available on fbo.gov:
The NOAA Commercial Space Policy calls for NOAA to explore and pursue demonstration projects to validate the viability of adding commercial environmental data and products into NOAA’s meteorological models and to meet NOAA Earth observation requirements.
NOAA’s Commercial Weather Data Pilot (CWDP) will serve as one such demonstration project, and will evaluate commercial data to demonstrate the quality of the data and its impact to weather forecast models, as well as informing NOAA’s process for ingesting, evaluating, and utilizing commercial data in the future. Based on the findings of recent market research and FAR processes (e.g., Requests for Information), NOAA has selected GNSS radio occultation (GNSS-RO) as the most suitable data type for the CWDP.