NOAA taps Intelsat General for GEONETCast deal

The Group on Earth Observations is one of those relatively unheralded, and largely apolitical, intergovernmental groups that could have a huge impact on us all, particularly in light of the coming challenges from climate change. And GEO's GEONETCast project is an important part of the group's effort to collect and distribute Earth observational data to a variety of end users, including government agencies and decision makers, academia and the general public.

The lead federal representative in GEO is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NOAA has just awarded a $3.9 million contract to Intelsat General to provide continuous environmental data distribution over much of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, using digital video broadcast-satellite technology for one year, with four annual renewal options. IGEN will provide the ground and space segment services on its Intelsat 9 geostationary communications satellite.

Under the terms of the contract, NOAA will initially purchase two megabits/sec of data bandwidth on the transponder, with options for expanding if requirements and funding are identified.

IGEN will partner with KenCast, which will provide datacasting software and redundant servers for data reception, management and processing for satellite broadcast.

IGEN and KenCast will provide training for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service staff to configure and manage the system remotely from NOAA's Satellite Operations Facility building in Suitland, Md.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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