Harris Corporation and General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies have teamed to pursue a ten-year contract for the ground antennas that will support the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite — R (GOES-R).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES satellites provide the images and time-lapse sequences used in weather forecasts to detect and track hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather systems in the US and the western hemisphere.

The next-generation GOES-R system will provide better image resolution and increase the rate of imagery coverage of earth surfaces from every 30 min to every 5 min during normal weather conditions, and every 30 seconds during periods of severe weather.

If selected for the antenna system segment, the firms will provide six new 16-18m antennas, associated equipment and site preparation services at the GOES-R primary data reception site in Virginia and at a remote backup site in West Virginia.

These antennas will receive data from the new generation of GOES-R satellites and transmit that data to the ground segment, where it will be interpreted and prepared for dissemination.

The antennas will also transmit and receive satellite command, health and status information from the ground segment to the satellites and support the current GOES mission.

Harris and GD will also upgrade four 9m antennas to support the GOES-R broadcast mission.

Harris is the prime contractor for the development of the ground segment of the programme.

The first launch of a GOES-R series satellite is scheduled for 2015.