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Honeywell Inks $450 Million NASA Satellite Ground Support Deal

By | September 8, 2011
      [Satellite TODAY Insider 09-08-11] NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) issued a five-year, $450 million contract to Honeywell to provide Ground Systems and Mission Operations (GSMO) services for the agency’s fleet of scientific research satellites, Honeywell announced Sept. 7.
         Honeywell will work with GSFC to help extend the life of existing research satellites and increase optimization for new satellites that support scientific space research activities in the future. Honeywell also will develop concepts of operations under the contract, including the provision of systems engineering and integration and testing of new satellite ground systems from launch to orbit operations. The contract will see Honeywell provide GSMO services through October 2016.
         “Honeywell has partnered with NASA since its inception to develop and advance the U.S. space program. Today, our technologies will re-set the operational life and value of NASA research satellites, enabling the agency to continue to meet commitments on a wide range of missions of vital importance to humankind,” Honeywell Techology Solutions President Charles Harvey said in a statement.
         The NASA research satellite program that Honeywell is supporting aims to gain a better understanding on issues such as planetary exploration, natural disaster characterization, climate change, ground topography mapping, agricultural efficiency and electromagnetic effects on the Earth. 
         Honeywell has taken the satellite manufacturing industry by force since it acquired wireless product developer EMS Technologies for about $491 million in cash in June. While the purchase was mostly centered in the commercial sector, Honeywell said it hoped the move would bolster its global tracking tools and computing product lines, as an EMS pick-up would include its messaging and asset tracking technology for search and rescue, as well as EMS’ aviation data storage, antennas and surveillance tools to gather data.
         In a July 8 analysis report, GLG Research said the acquisition would enable Honeywell to benefit from the recent contracts issued for on-board gear on the WGS X- and Ka-band satellite system for the U.S. Air Force and for the Iridium Next constellation of low-orbiting mobile communications satellites, as EMS provides switches for the 81 Iridium Next satellites under a contract with Thales Alenia Space.
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