NOAA Awards First Delivery Order Under Radio Occultation Data Buy II
On Monday, March 27, 2023, NOAA announced the awards of two Radio Occultation Data Buy II (RODB-2) Delivery Order 1-Test (DO-1T) contracts to Space Sciences and Engineering LLC (PlanetiQ) and Spire Global Subsidiary Inc.
To prepare for a full operational stream of GNSS RO data, NOAA awarded these two DO-1T firm-fixed-price delivery orders to Spire and to PlanetiQ for 500 GNSS RO profiles per day for 30 consecutive days; DO-1T will commence at 11 a.m. [EST] on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
These “test” data will be used to validate that the vendor formats, latency, quality, and coverage of the data will be sufficient for longer-term operational use in numerical weather prediction models and other systems.
On March 23, 2023, NOAA announced the award of the RODB-2 IDIQ contracts. NOAA awarded two RODB-2 IDIQ contracts with a total maximum value of $59,312,954 to Space Sciences and Engineering LLC, doing business as PlanetiQ, and Spire Global Subsidiary Inc.
The Commercial Data Program (CDP) includes two lines of effort. The Commercial Weather Data Pilot project includes demonstrations of the quality and impact of commercial data on weather forecast models; the Commercial Data Purchase project supports operational weather forecasting. NOAA first began using commercial RO data in its operational weather forecasts on May 20, 2021.
Through CDP, 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.