Spire Global Awarded $6 Million NASA Contract Extension for Earth Observation Data

Spire has provided reflectometry, radio occultation and other Earth observation data to NASA’s Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program since 2018

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global, Inc. PR)Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or “the Company”), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced it was awarded a $6 million, 12-month contract extension from NASA to continue its participation in the agency’s Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program.

Spire will continue to deliver a comprehensive catalog of Earth observation data, associated metadata, and ancillary information from its constellation of 100+ multipurpose satellites. The data provided will include:

  • Surface data, Spire’s GNSS Grazing Angle Reflectometry data (GNSS-R), to measure sea ice extent, classification and altimetry, soil moisture, and ocean surface wind speed;
  • Atmospheric data, Spire’s GNSS radio occultation (GNSS-RO) soundings, for weather forecast models to improve global weather forecasting accuracy;
  • Space weather offering measurements of electron density and scintillation that allow researchers to monitor the ionosphere as well as prepare for and react to weather events in space; and
  • Domain awareness including satellite state vector, altitude and precise orbit determination (POD) data to correct errors in orbital drag models.
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Terran Orbital Ships Two GeoOptics Satellites to Cape Canaveral for Integration Ahead of SpaceX’s Transporter-5 Mission

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Terran Orbital Corporation PR) — Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States aerospace and defense industry, today announced it shipped two next-generation satellites from GeoOptics, a global leader in remote Earth observation. Terran shipped the vehicles to Cape Canaveral for launch on SpaceX’s Transporter-5 mission.

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SpaceX Launches 40 Satellites into Space

Falcon9 Transporter-4 launch. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

by David Bullock
Staff Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., April 1, 2022 — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 40 payloads as part of the company’s Transporter-4 dedicated smallsat rideshare mission.

The rocket launched into a sun-synchronous orbit at 12:24 p.m. EDT. The mission manifest included the first satellite orbited by Pixxel of India, Kleos Space’s Patrol Mission, and 12 Spacebee communications satellites. A list of payloads is below.

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NOAA Releases Cost-Benefit Analysis of Commercial Data Purchase

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — Today NOAA released a report to Congress titled, “Cost-Benefit Analysis of NOAA Commercial Data Program Radio Occultation Data Purchase.” [View report (PDF)]

The congressionally directed report assesses radio occultation (RO) data purchased in Delivery Order 2 (DO-2) under NOAA’s first indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts for operational commercial satellite weather data.

The initial cost-benefit assessment showed that the DO-2 data were similar in quality to data from some other RO sensors provided by government partners to NOAA. The impact on weather forecasts was neutral to slightly positive overall.

NOAA compared the anticipated cost per occultation from government-sponsored missions and commercially sourced data procured to date and found that commercially sourced data was about one-quarter to one-half the cost.

Taking into consideration the differences in cost, precision, and sharing restrictions from the commercial RO data versus data from recent government-sponsored missions, NOAA believes there is value in continuing procurement of commercial data.

Learn more about the NOAA Commercial Data Program and DO-2

NOAA Awards 4th Delivery Order for Commercial Radio Occultation Data

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — NOAA awarded a fourth Delivery Order under its existing Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for commercial radio occultation (RO) satellite weather data. The RO data consist of vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and related quantities for operational weather models and other applications.  

Two concurrent awards were made under this Delivery Order — one to GeoOptics for 500 profiles/day and another to Spire Global for 5,500 profiles/day — for a total of 6,000 RO profiles/day for 10 months beginning on March 16, 2022. 

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GeoOptics Announces New European Subsidiary, Expands Global Satellite Services

PASADENA, Calif. (GeoOptics PR) — A global leader in Earth remote sensing, GeoOptics announced its expansion in Europe, with founder and chief technology officer, Tom Yunck, relocating to Lausanne, Switzerland, to manage GeoOptics Switzerland SA. The new subsidiary and team of data scientists represent a key component of GeoOptics plans to enhance their commercial satellite services around the globe.

As a pioneer in commercial remote sensing data services, GeoOptics supports decision makers, research groups, and individual users worldwide,” Yunck noted. “Our European office will help us better serve an international base of government and civil customers with the most accurate, timely data available.”

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Spire Global Awarded $8 Million NOAA Contract to Deliver Satellite Weather Data

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR)– Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or “the Company”), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services, today announced that it has been awarded as part of Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Delivery Order 4 of the contract issued by the National Oceanographic and Oceanic Administration (NOAA), for commercially available space-based radio occultation (RO) data for use in operational weather forecasts. The award, valued at over $8 million, represents the single largest U.S. government purchase of commercial, operational RO data.

The award is the next milestone in NOAA’s goal to expand the purchase of commercial RO data. It is an increase in the number of RO profiles that Spire provides NOAA from 3,000 to 5,500, serving as a testament to Spire’s proven ability to reliably deliver valuable, operational RO data, profiling atmospheric temperatures and related quantities for weather models helping NOAA and as a result American citizens prepare for extreme weather events.

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Spire Global Awarded NOAA Contract to Deliver Satellite Weather Data

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR) — Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“the Company” or “Spire”), a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced it has been awarded the next order to provide commercial radio occultation (RO) weather data for the National Oceanographic and Oceanic Administration’s (NOAA) operational Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. The order represents the largest volume of commercial weather data purchased to date by NOAA under the Commercial Weather Data Buy Program.

This purchase comes as NOAA has stated its intention to purchase increasing volumes of commercial RO data. The data provided by Spire will increase the volume of RO data available for assimilation into the national weather prediction models, improving the accuracy of those models and decreasing uncertainty in weather forecasting.

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EUMETSAT to Buy Meteorological Data from Commercial Supplier for First Time

DARMSTADT, Germany (EUMETSAT PR) — Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, is launching an innovative pilot programme to buy, for the first time, data from a commercial satellite fleet operator for use in weather forecasting.

EUMETSAT’s governing council has approved the acquisition of data from Spire Global Luxembourg S.a.r.l. at a maximum cost of €9 million [US $10.6 million] over three years.

EUMETSAT will receive the data, called radio occultation data, from Spire, process it, and disseminate it for use in weather forecast modelling.

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GeoOptics Orbiting Observatory to Monitor Changing Earth

Satellites Will Track Earth’s Atmosphere, Water, Surface, and Interior

PASADENA, Calif. (GeoOptics PR) – A leader in Earth remote sensing, GeoOptics Inc., today announceda major upgrade to its CICERO constellation of satellites to measure our evolving planet. With launches beginning next year, CICERO-2 will form a unified Earth observatory allowing governments, industry, and individual stakeholders to monitor and prepare for the many impacts of climate change.

“In today’s environment, in which precision Earth sensing is becoming ever more critical, GeoOptics is deploying a flexible observatory made up of dozens of small satellites. The real time services will satisfy a broad range of needs for government and civil users around the world,” said Alex Saltman, Chief Executive Officer of GeoOptics.

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Spire Global Awarded Contract for Earth Observation Data

New task order continues delivery of comprehensive space data and opens availability to all U.S. Government-funded researchers and federal agencies

VIENNA, Va. & RESTON, Va. (Spire Global PR) — Spire Global, Inc. (“Spire” or “the Company”), a leading global provider of space-based data and analytics, has announced the continuation of its participation in NASA’s Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program with a six-million-dollar contract extension. The contract continuation, Task Order 6 (TO6), is a subscription data solution that includes radio occultation (RO) data, grazing angle GNSS-RO, total electron content (TEC) data, precise orbit determination (POD) data, soil moisture and ocean surface wind speed GNSS-Reflectometry data, and magnetometer data. This data will be available to all federal agencies, NASA-funded researchers and, more broadly, to all U.S. Government-funded researchers for scientific purposes.

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Launch 2020: U.S. Reclaimed Top Spot, Flew Astronauts Again from American Soil

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The United States reclaimed the top spot in launches from China last year as NASA astronauts flew into orbit from American soil for the first time in nearly nine years, SpaceX deployed the world’s first satellite mega-constellation with reused rockets, and two new launchers debuted with less than stellar results.

American companies conducted 44 launches in 2020, with 40 successes and four failures. Bryce Tech reports that U.S. companies accounted for 32 of the 41 commercial launches conducted last year. The majority of those flights were conducted by SpaceX, which launched 25 orbital missions.

China came in second with a record of 35 successful launches and four failures. The 39 launch attempts tied that nation’s previous record for flights during a calendar year.

Let’s take a closer look at what U.S. companies achieved last year.

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The Rise Fund Announces $100 Million Strategic Investment in Climavision

Partnership will Accelerate Growth of Newly Launched High-Resolution Weather Solutions Platform, Filling Critical Coverage Gaps in Existing Radar Networks

SAN FRANCISCO & FORT WORTH, Texas & LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(Rise Fund/Climavision PR)–The Rise Fund, TPG’s global impact investing platform, today announced a $100 million strategic investment in Climavision, a pioneering weather services and intelligence platform powered by a private network of high-resolution radars, GPS-RO data, and proprietary software to vastly improve the timing and accuracy of weather forecasting and to fill low-level gaps in existing weather surveillance.

Climavision was formed out of Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC), the world’s largest privately held commercial supplier of weather radar systems. EEC, which is majority controlled by the Cookes family, has a 50-year history and more than 1,200 installations across 95 countries. By combining lower altitude, proprietary data with cutting-edge machine learning and AI technology, Climavision’s one-of-a-kind offering provides 10x higher resolution and more accurate forecasting to address critical coverage gaps left by existing radar networks across the U.S.

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Redwire Selected As Solar Array Supplier for PlanetiQ Constellation Spacecraft

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 9, 2021 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, has been selected by PlanetiQ, a commercial weather satellite constellation operator, to supply solar arrays for their HD GPS-RO weather satellites. The contract will include delivery of a 130-watt solar array for PlanetiQ’s spacecraft. The agreement marks PlanetiQ’s third flight contract for Redwire’s solar arrays. Previously, Redwire’s subsidiary Roccor delivered two sets of solar arrays to PlanetiQ, dating back to 2018. 

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NOAA Awards Second Delivery Order for Commercial Radio Occultation Data

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — On February 19, 2021, NOAA awarded Delivery Order 2 (DO-2) under its existing Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts for radio occultation (RO) data to GeoOptics.

Through DO-2, NOAA will purchase 1300 occultations per day for six months from March to September, with a license to share the data with U.S. government agencies immediately upon receipt and to share on a full and open basis after 24 hours. Following verification of data and system readiness, NOAA plans to begin incorporating commercial RO data into operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) models in May.

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