12 November 2021
adapted from the announcement by NOAA CPO
The Deputy Secretary of Commerce formally initiated NOAA's next-generation geostationary satellite program, Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO), with the signing of the Milestone 1 decision memo on 9 November 2021.
GeoXO spacecraft will carry an imager, lightning mapper, ocean color instrument, sounder, and atmospheric composition instrument. A day/night band, or channel, is recommended as part of either the imager or the sounder. From NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), Monika Kopacz, Greg Frost, and Victoria Breeze have been heavily involved in assessing the value of the atmospheric composition instrument (ACX) and promoting ACX user readiness. See the NOAA Technical Report A Value Assessment of an Atmospheric Composition Capability on the NOAA Next-Generation Geostationary and Extended Orbits (GEO-XO) Missions for more information.
The inclusion of ACX in the GeoXO constellation represents a new step in NOAA's capabilities to measure and monitor atmospheric composition. Overall, the formal announcement is a win for all of OAR and NOAA as the GeoXO mission will supply vital information to address major environmental challenges of the future in support of U.S. weather, ocean, and climate operations and research. In addition, OAR programs and labs have an important role to play in preparing NOAA to best leverage the mission’s capabilities and observations.
With formal initiation, GeoXO will now enter the program definition phase of development, where the team will refine mission requirements, detail acquisition strategies, schedules, cost estimates, resource planning, and risk management, and confirm technology readiness. NOAA is working to ensure these critical observations are in place by the early 2030s as the GOES-R Series nears the end of its operational lifetime.