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NOAA awards SWFO Ground System Command and Control contract

February 5, 2021
Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 observatory
Artist rendering of SWFO-L1

NOAA has awarded the Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 ( SWFO-L1 ) Command and Control contract to L3Harris in Melbourne, Florida. The cost plus fixed-fee contract has a total value of $43,784,063, with a five-year performance period. The SWFO-L1 mission is planned to launch in 2025 as a ride share with the NASA Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe.

The contractor is responsible for development, deployment, and for up to two years of operations support for Command and Control of the SWFO-L1 observatory. After, the capability will be added to the existing Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R Series Core Ground System.

The NOAA Satellite and Information Service’s Office of Projects, Planning and Analysis will manage the contract. In addition to work at L3Harris’ facility in Melbourne, the contractor will install equipment at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Suitland, Maryland; NOAA’s Wallops Command and Data Acquisition Station (WCDAS) in Wallops, Virginia; and at NOAA’s Consolidated Backup Facility (CBU) in Fairmont, West Virginia.

The work will allow SWFO L1 to provide continuity of solar wind and coronal mass ejection imagery data from the Lagrange-1 point to NOAA’s National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado. These data are critical to support monitoring and timely forecasts of space weather events that have the potential to adversely impact elements vital to national security and economic prosperity, including telecommunication and navigation, satellite systems and the power grid.

NOAA is responsible for overall implementation and funding of the SWFO program. The program is managed as an integrated NOAA-NASA program, where NASA serves as NOAA’s acquisition agent for the space segment and for launch services. NOAA is responsible for the ground segment including the acquisition, development, test and integration of the SWFO Command and Control system.