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GeoXO Spacecraft & Instruments

Three satellites are seen in space hovering over the top half of a full disk satellite image of the Western Hemisphere. The GEO West satellite is on the left and is noted to carry a visible/infrared imager, lightning mapper, and ocean color instrument. The GEO East satellite on the right carries the same instruments. The GEO Central satellite in between East and West is noted to carry a hyperspectral infrared sounder, atmospheric composition instrument, and a possible partner payload.

NOAA evaluated a range of space architecture options for delivering the recommended GeoXO observations effectively and efficiently. NOAA is currently planning (pending approval) a three-satellite GeoXO operational constellation. Spacecraft in GEO-East and GEO-West positions will carry an imager, lightning mapper, and ocean color instrument, and a centrally-located spacecraft will carry a sounder and atmospheric composition instrument. A night band, or channel, is recommended as part of either the ocean color instrument or the sounder. This constellation can also accommodate a partner payload on the spacecraft flying in the central location.

GeoXO Spacecraft Status

On July 26, 2022, NASA awarded GeoXO Spacecraft Phase A Study contracts to Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, and Maxar Space LLC of Palo Alto, California. Each company will conduct a ten-month definition-phase study of a geostationary GeoXO spacecraft.

GeoXO Instruments

NOAA has recommended a suite of instruments to meet the observational needs of NOAA’s environmental monitoring mission and the satellite data user community. NASA has awarded contracts for Phase A studies of each instrument as part of GeoXO formulation activities. These definition-phase study and development contracts will help design the instrument concepts, mature necessary technologies, and help define potential performance, risks, costs, and development schedule. The results of the studies will be used to set performance requirements for instrument implementation contracts.

The GeoXO instrument array is subject to final program approval. 

Lightning Mapper
Lightning detection to analyze severe storms, predict the intensity of hurricanes, respond to wildfires, estimate precipitation, and mitigate aviation hazards.
Lightning Detection & Mapping
Sounder
Real-time information about the vertical distribution of atmospheric moisture, winds and temperature for better numerical weather prediction and forecasts for short-term severe weather.
Atmospheric Sounding
Ocean Color
Measurements of the biology, chemistry, and ecology of the ocean to better monitor fisheries and protected species populations, track ocean pollution, and analyze ecosystem change, coastal and inland water quality, and hazards like harmful algal blooms.
Examining the Ocean
Atmospheric Composition
Observations of air pollutants to improve air quality monitoring and mitigate health impacts from severe pollution and smoke events.
Air Quality Monitoring
Night Band
Nighttime visible imagery to observe weather and hazards continuously at night.
Nighttime Phenomena
Imager
Real-time, high-resolution visible and infrared imagery for monitoring Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment.
Visible & Infrared Imagery

Industry Collaboration

NOAA and NASA will work with industry partners to develop the instruments and spacecraft that will deliver the recommended observations. 

The information on this page is subject to change as the GeoXO program develops.