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.
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.
- Dec 2021: Draft Statement of Work
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.
- May 2022: Request for Proposal
- Apr 2022: Pre-Announcement of RFP
- Nov 2021: Request for Information
- Jul 2021: Sources Sought Notice – Microwave Sounder
- Oct 2020: Legislation on Commercial Space Weather Data Pilot (PDF, page 11)
- Sep 2020: Request for Information
- May 2018: Request for Information – CWDP & Other NOAA Requirements
Commercial Purchase: Radio Occultation Data, IDIQ-1 (2020-2022)
Delivery Order 4
On February 10, 2022, NOAA awarded a fourth Delivery Order under its existing Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for commercial radio occultation (RO) satellite weather data. The RO data consist of vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and related quantities for operational weather models and other applications.
Two concurrent awards were made under this Delivery Order — one to GeoOptics for 500 profiles/day and another to Spire Global for 5,500 profiles/day — for a total of 6,000 RO profiles/day for 10 months beginning on March 16, 2022.
The near real-time data will be available to U.S. Government agencies, National Meteorological Centers, World Meteorological Organization-designated centers, and members of the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites who have signed data restrictions memoranda with NOAA. After 24 hours, the data will be publicly available to other users through the COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Center.
NOAA first began using commercial RO data in its operational weather forecasts on May 20, 2021. This fourth Delivery Order doubles the quantity of commercial RO data being ingested and extends the duration to 10 months. Subsequent purchases are being planned to continue integrating commercial RO data into NOAA’s numerical weather prediction models.
Through the Commercial Data Program and these commercial data acquisitions, 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 pilot assessments that demonstrate commercial sector readiness.
CWDP Round 2: Radio Occultation Data (2018-2019)
- Jun 2020: Summary of Results
- Sep 2018: Contract Awards to GeoOptics, Spire Global, & Space Sciences and Engineering
- Apr 2018: Final Request for Proposals
- Jun 2017: Industry Day
- May 2017: Draft Request for Proposals