Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites – R Series Ground Segment and Antenna Segment

Harris has worked closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and our industry partners to successfully complete the delivery, installation, and verification of both the ground segment and the antenna segment of the new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites – R Series (GOES-R).  GOES-R is the next generation of NOAA’s GOES system of weather satellites; the primary tools used to detect and track hurricanes and other severe weather in the continental United States and western hemisphere. The ground segment features sophisticated data processing to efficiently manage the significantly improved resolution and frequency of data received from the GOES-R satellites.  

GOES-R Ground Segment and Antennas Ready for Launch

The GOES-R Ground Segment is an enterprise-wide backbone capable of ingesting, processing, and distributing 40 times more data to the National Weather Service and more than 10,000 other direct users.

In January 2014, Harris began making Ground Segment deliveries that included 2,100 servers, 149 racks of network equipment, 317 workstations, and storage services totaling three petabytes. Through testing and verification, Harris demonstrated the ability of the GOES-R Ground Segment to generate weather products at all operational sites. We successfully completed the final contractor testing and turned over operations of this highly reliable and secure infrastructure to NOAA on April 30, 2015 for launch preparations. We will continue to support GOES-R launch preparation and system enhancement activities through 2019.

Additionally, the Harris team developed and deployed the 16.4 meter tri-band antennas needed to support the GOES-R mission. The team also performed electronic upgrades to the 9.1 meter antennas at NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, MD, to enable the facility to receive the GOES-R Rebroadcast Signal. The antennas were installed and are functioning and in use, supporting current GOES satellites in operation.

Transformative Ground System

The ground and antenna segments comprise an enterprise-wide network connecting three sites in Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. Capturing raw data through the antennas, the ground segment ingests, processes, and distributes data in 5-minute update intervals—a substantial improvement over the 30-minute update available in the current operational system. This capability will provide weather forecasters critical input to speed up forecasts and warnings for extreme weather.

The ground segment also provides for command and control of the GOES-R constellation of satellites and their onboard instruments, leveraging the Harris commercial-off-the-shelf system, OS/COMET®.

Read more about Harris’ involvement in the GOES-R mission.