Storm-tracking NOAA satellite system gets a technology boost

The Joint Polar Satellite System is getting $185 million worth of updates and upgrades that will support the system's complete technological refresh.

One of the three Joint Polar Satellite Systems satellites. NOAA/NASA

A three-satellite storm-tracking system run by the U.S. government is getting some updates that will support a complete technological refresh.

Raytheon said today that it has booked $185 million in new business for the Joint Polar Satellite System's Common Ground System. The JPSS, a collaborative system between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, is a polar-orbiting environmental system designed to both track storms and other weather events and take and send back to Earth imagery showing changes in the planet's environment over time.

Currently, the contract for the JPSS ground control system is worth $1.7 billion, and the contract modifications mean the system is getting a set of upgrades and updates meant to boost operational and data availability, Raytheon said in a release, as well as faster data delivery, information assurance, and automated mission management.

Among its many other functions, the JPSS ground control system offers support for the U.S. Department of Defense's Meteorological Satellite Program, as well as the similar organizations in Europe and Japan; the National Science Foundation; and NASA's Space Communications and Navigation program.

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