GeoOptics wins NASA Commercial SmallSat Data contract

SAN FRANCISCO — GeoOptics Inc. gained a NASA contract value a most of $7 million over 5 years to offer researchers with information acquired by the corporate’s small satellite tv for pc constellation.

The contract, introduced Nov. 14, was GeoOptics’ first as a part of NASA’s Business SmallSat Knowledge Acquisition program. Pasadena, Calif.-based GeoOptics has equipped radio occultation information to the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for climate forecasts since 2020.

GeoOptics CEO Alex Saltman welcomed the NASA award.

“We’ve all the time had a really sturdy sense of duty to the science group,” Saltman instructed SpaceNews. “All of our applied sciences come out of that group. A lot of our workers come out of that group. And we wish to present a extremely nice science product for researchers.”

The NASA contract directs GeoOptics to ship a complete catalog of its information merchandise “indicating at a minimal: the info units, related metadata and ancillary data; information cadence; information latency; space protection; and information utilization coverage,” in accordance with the information launch.

NASA acquires business information below licenses that enable the company to share datasets with U.S. authorities companies and companions.

GeoOptics will course of radio occultation information for NASA to the next diploma of accuracy than information the corporate supplies to NOAA for climate forecasting.

“Usually while you course of radio occultation information in actual time, you’re utilizing, for instance, real-time orbit for GPS satellites, which aren’t fairly as correct because the eventual orbits that folk can decide days or even weeks later,” Saltman stated. “That’s one of many ways in which it’s extra exact.”

GeoOptics has launched 10 satellites. The corporate’s subsequent launch is scheduled for late 2023. GeoOptics doesn’t touch upon what number of satellites stay operational.

NASA established the Business SmallSat Knowledge Acquisition pilot program in 2017 to find out whether or not business observations may increase or complement authorities datasets. NASA began buying datasets in 2018 after principal investigators confirmed the info and imagery bolstered Earth-observation analysis and functions.

By way of this system, NASA has acquired information from Airbus U.S., BlackSky Know-how, Maxar Applied sciences, PlanetSpire Global and Teledyne Brown Engineering.

NASA additionally has bought high-resolution Digital Elevation Fashions produced by the EarthDEM Undertaking, a collaboration that features the College of Minnesota’s Polar Geospatial Heart, Ohio State College’s Byrd Polar Analysis Heart, and the College of Illinois Nationwide Heart for Supercomputing Functions, and based mostly on Maxar satellite tv for pc information.

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