BAE Systems Chosen by NASA to Build Air Quality Instrument for NOAA

May 1, 2024

NASA, acting on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has awarded BAE Systems (formerly known as Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation) in Boulder, Colorado, a contract to develop an instrument for monitoring air quality. This instrument aims to furnish insights into the impact of air pollutants on Earth as part of NOAA's Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite program.

The contract, structured as a cost-plus-award-fee arrangement, is valued at around $365 million and encompasses the development of one flight instrument with options for additional units. The contract's duration spans ten years of on-orbit operations and five years of on-orbit storage, totaling 15 years for each flight model. The project will be executed at BAE Systems' facilities, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The GeoXO Atmospheric Composition (ACX) instrument, a hyperspectral spectrometer, will measure a broad spectrum of light from ultraviolet to visible wavelengths. Its capabilities include hourly monitoring of air pollutants originating from various sources such as transportation, power generation, industry, and natural phenomena like wildfires and volcanic eruptions, providing crucial data for understanding atmospheric composition and pollution dynamics.