The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has selected a team led by Parsons Corporation to provide engineering services, information technology functionality, and flight operations support to assume on-orbit operations for the Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) NOAA-15, NOAA-18, and NOAA-19. The $16 million definitive contract has a one-year performance period and two one-year option periods and is new work for Parsons.
The Parsons-led team comprises Arctic Slope Technical Services, Inc. (ASTS), a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) Federal, and Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT).
ASTS currently operates the POES spacecraft and will continue to support operations and implementation of cyber security architecture, while we (KSAT) will provide ground antenna support with our KSATlite service.
“In partnership with NOAA, this team will leverage our extensive portfolios of satellite operations and information technology capabilities to demonstrate successful commercialization of the polar operations mission,” said Jason Long, Parsons vice president for civil solutions. “We look forward to further evolving the partnership between government and commercial industry in the space domain to affordably extend the life of these valuable environmental monitoring systems.”
NOAA’s three POES will be one of the first U.S. government satellites transitioned from a legacy government owned ground control system to a hybrid cloud based commercial operation, setting a precedent that may lead to further commercialization of government-owned satellites in the future.
Over the next six months, the team will move the control of the POES to commercial ground control systems deployed on a hybrid cloud architecture using Parsons’ commercial space software applications while demonstrating successful control of POES, followed by six months of full commercial operations.
Instrument Science data from the satellites will be delivered to NOAA for processing within their existing architecture, retaining these spacecraft as valuable data sources supporting NOAA’s critical mission to keep the public informed of the changing environment.