Commercial Data Program (CDP)

NOAA’s Commercial Data Program (CDP) successfully engages with the commercial sector through pilots and acquisition of operational satellite data-as-a-service for commercial data to help improve weather forecasts and provide risk reduction to the overall observing system.

The program includes two lines of effort: Commercial Weather Data Pilot (CWDP) demonstrations of the quality and impact of commercial data on weather forecast models; and Commercial Data Purchase in support of operational weather forecasting.

Commercial Purchase: Radio Occultation Data, IDIQ-2 (2023-2028)

Request for Proposal

On July 20, 2022, NOAA released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the second purchase of space-based commercial radio occultation (RO) data for use in NOAA’s operational weather forecasts.

View RFP at SAM.gov

The RFP is open for 34 days and follows the December 2021 release of a draft Statement of Work for public comment. This is a follow-on to the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts that were awarded in November 2020.

NOAA is soliciting commercial near-real-time satellite-based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) RO and ionospheric measurements that will be processed into neutral atmosphere and space weather products. These derived products will be fed into NOAA’s operational data systems, including weather and space weather analysis and prediction systems, and used for weather, climate, and atmospheric research purposes. All data and products will be archived by NOAA.

NOAA intends to issue one or more IDIQ contract(s) for the requirements described in the Statement of Work. The RFP also includes the specifications for two initial Delivery Orders (DO) for RO data under the overall IDIQ contract.

To prepare for a full operational stream of GNSS RO data, NOAA plans to award a DO-1 Test or DO-1T to procure a limited duration (30 days) of data that will be used to validate that the formats, latency, quality, and coverage of the data will be sufficient for longer-term operational use in numerical weather prediction models and other systems.

NOAA also plans to award a second DO to acquire near-real-time radio occultation (RO) satellite data; NOAA intends to use these data in operational numerical weather prediction models, space weather models, and other systems.

Subsequent Delivery Orders will be released throughout the five-year contract period at NOAA’s discretion.

Through this RFP, NOAA continues to implement the related section of the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-25), which directs NOAA to obtain commercial weather data from private sector providers following a pilot assessment that demonstrates commercial sector readiness.

On May 20, 2021, NOAA began using the commercial RO data in operational weather forecasts. Commercial RO data constitute an important addition to NOAA’s portfolio that will help improve weather forecasts and provide risk reduction to the overall observing system.

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CWDP Future Rounds (2023-2030)

Request for Information

On September 15, 2022, NOAA issued a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting information on existing or planned commercial satellite environmental data and related capabilities that will be available in the FY2023 through FY2030 timeframe, and that may help NOAA meet its diverse mission objectives.

View RFI at SAM.gov

Responses to this RFI will be used to inform a potential Commercial Weather Data Pilot (CWDP) project for terrestrial weather applications, as well as future pilots for space weather and other applications. NOAA may use the results of the RFI to inform multiple future Requests for Proposals for acquisition of commercial data and related capabilities.

NOAA is interested in commercially-provided data and related capabilities to augment NOAA’s capabilities in these areas:

  • Atmosphere
  • Cryosphere
  • Land and Surface Hydrology
  • Oceans, Freshwater, and Coasts
  • Space

Responses are due October 31, 2022.

CWDP Round 3: Space Weather Data (2022-2027)

Contract Awards to GeoOptics, PlanetIQ, & Spire

On July 14, 2022, NOAA awarded three Commercial Weather Data Pilot (CWDP) space weather contracts to GeoOptics Inc. (Pasadena, CA), Space Sciences and Engineering LLC, dba PlanetiQ (Golden, CO), and Spire Global Subsidiary, Inc (San Francisco, CA).

These contract awards constitute the next round of NOAA’s CWDP studies with a particular focus on space weather data.

GeoOptics, PlanetiQ and Spire will provide near real-time radio occultation measurements from Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers that will enable NOAA to derive ionospheric products that meet the current and anticipated needs of operational space weather models and applications.

The commercial data measurements will provide insight into near-real-time ionospheric conditions that can impact a wide range of activities, including aviation, satellite operations, navigation, and communications.

These space weather CWDP studies are expected to last about 12 months. Upon completion and evaluation, successful CWDP studies may lead to sustained commercial data purchases by CDP to support NOAA’s operational forecasting endeavors.

The CWDP awards are pursuant to the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow (PROSWIFT) Act (Public Law 116-181) and the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-25).

NOAA is pleased to take this next step in working with the commercial sector to obtain and analyze space weather data to meet NOAA’s critical space weather forecasting mission for the Nation.

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Commercial Purchase: Radio Occultation Data, IDIQ-1 (2020-2022)

Delivery Order 5

On September 20, 2022, NOAA awarded a fifth and final Delivery Order under its existing Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for commercial radio occultation (RO) satellite weather data. An award was made to Spire Global Subsidiary, Inc. for a total of 3,300 RO profiles per day for six months beginning on January 18, 2023. The RO data consist of vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and related quantities for operational weather models and other applications.

The near-real-time data will be available with unlimited distribution rights, allowing NOAA to distribute the RO data to any entity immediately after receipt at NOAA with no restrictions on their use or further distribution. NOAA’s implementation of no-restrictions data sharing is a first for the Commercial Data Program (CDP) and marks a significant shift in trends towards open and free sharing of data amongst all global users.

This fifth Delivery Order will continue to build on the success of the Commercial Data Purchase project, which began in 2020. Subsequent commercial data purchases, under a second IDIQ, are being planned to continue integrating commercial RO data into NOAA’s numerical weather prediction models.

Through CDP and these commercial data acquisitions, NOAA continues to implement the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-25), which directs NOAA to obtain commercial weather data from private sector providers following pilot assessments that demonstrate commercial sector readiness. NOAA’s CDP has successfully engaged the commercial sector through a competitive process and has acquired operational satellite data-as-a-service. Commercial RO data constitute an important addition to NOAA’s portfolio of environmental observations, which help improve weather forecasts and reduce risk to the overall observing system.

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