L3Harris and Raytheon have been selected by Nasa for the Geostationary and Extended Orbits (GEO-XO) Imager (GXI) Phase A study contracts.

These one-year firm-fixed-price contracts are each valued at approximately $6m.

Under these contracts, the agreements will provide a definition-phase study of a geostationary Imager instrument.

The infrared and visible imaging instrument is slated to launch on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GEO-XO programme series of geostationary satellites. The first launch is planned for 2032.

L3Harris and Raytheon will perform the work at their respective facilities in Fort Wayne Indiana and El Segundo, California, US.

The GXI Phase A Study is designed to provide services that will fulfil the objectives of the NOAA GEO-XO programme.

NOAA’s GEO-XO mission aims to develop a satellite system that will enhance Earth observations from geostationary orbit.

Nasa said that the mission is intended to deliver critical information that will help deal with future environmental challenges that threaten the security of US citizens.

Work is currently being carried out by NOAA to ready the critical observations by the early 2030s. The operational lifetime of the GOES-R Series is nearing its end.

GEO-XO programme is funded, operated and managed by NOAA while Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre is responsible for developing and acquiring the mission system including the Phase A formulation contracts.

Last month, Nasa selected Northrop Grumman for the Mars Ascent Propulsion System (MAPS) contract.