US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a $736m contract to Harris Corporation to design and operate the ground segment for geostationary operational environmental satellite — series R(GOES-R).

Under the ten-year contract, Harris will create a service-based, open architecture solution for weather satellite that will receive, process and distribute satellite and weather data to more than 10,000 direct users.

The company will also provide the command and control of operational satellites.

The ground system will be capable of handling the anticipated 40-times increase in data with the launch of the next-generation GOES-R satellites.

These satellites aim to provide improved imagery and coverage sending data every five minutes instead of the present rate of every 30 minutes.

NOAA uses the GOES satellites to detect and track hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes and other severe weather in the continental US and the western hemisphere. The first of the launches of the GOES-R series is scheduled for 2015.

Harris Corporation provides satellite ground data processing and mission command-and-control systems both for supporting single satellite missions and for satellite fleets.

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