NOAA to build new satellite ops center
New facility will be home to National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers will build a new 20,000 square-foot satellite operations facility in Fairbanks, Alaska, to replace NOAA’s Command and Data Acquisition Station.
NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) will operate from the new facility when it opens in September 2010. NESDIS tracks severe weather, solar storms and climate change, and also relays emergency distress signals to search-and-rescue teams.
Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, said the new facility was needed because the current facility, opened in 1961, was "not capable of meeting [NOAA'S] future needs.”
The project is expected to cost $11.7 million, with $9 million coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The remainder of the funding will be provided by the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009.
Dan Campbell is a freelance writer with Government Computer News and the president of Millennia Systems Inc.