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BAE Systems Selected to Build Instrument for NOAA’s GeoXO Constellation

By Abbey Weltman | May 2, 2024

      Rendering of the NOAA Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) constellation. Photo: NOAA

      BAE Systems was selected by NASA to develop the Atmospheric Composition instrument (ACX) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s (NOAA) Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite constellation. BAE Systems announced the contract on May 1.

      GeoXO is a constellation of three satellites that will succeed NOAA’s current GEO Operational Environmental Satellites-R series (GOES-R). The mission will continue to gather data for NOAA’s focus areas, such as lightning mapping and visible and infrared imagery for weather monitoring. GeoXO will also provide capabilities such as atmospheric composition, infrared sounding, and ocean color observations. 

      The BAE Systems ACX instrument is a hyperspectral imager that will take hourly air quality measurements across a spectrum of ultraviolet to visible light. The high-spatial and temporal resolution measurements improve observations of changing air quality.

      Vice President and general manager of Civil Space for BAE Systems Space & Mission Systems Dr. Alberto Conti said the instrument will also provide practical safety benefits for the public. Conti commented, “Not only will this instrument provide cutting-edge measurements of air quality, but it will also improve weather forecasts, help pilots avoid dangerous situations, warn hospitals of imminent air quality issues, and protect the lasting health and economic stability of our communities.” 

      ACX will also aid other research areas. The instrument will accurately measure emissions and movement of aerosol particles. Combining the hyperspectral capabilities of ACX with the GeoXO Imager (GXI) and infrared sounder (GXS) instruments can improve weather product data for the NOAA.

      BAE Systems was also selected to build the GeoXO Sounder (GXS) instrument in September 2023, which will measure atmospheric moisture, winds, and temperature for weather prediction models and short-term severe weather forecasting. GeoXO is expected to begin operations in the early 2030s and continue operating through 2055. This contract was initially awarded to Ball Aerospace, which BAE Systems acquired in February 2024.