On August 4, 2020, NOAA released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the first purchase of space-based commercial radio occultation (RO) data for use in NOAA’s operational weather forecasts. The RFP is open for 30 days, and follows the April release of a draft Statement of Work for public comment.
Through this RFP, NOAA seeks proposals to provide space-based RO data via a two-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to one or more vendors. The commercial data purchase follows the conclusion of NOAA’s Commercial Weather Data Pilot Round 2. Upon completion of that Round 2 pilot, NOAA found that currently-available commercial RO data have the potential to augment government RO capabilities and ultimately improve NOAA’s weather forecasting.
The RFP includes, in addition to the RFP for the overall IDIQ contract, the specifications for the initial Delivery Order for data under the overall contract. Subsequent Delivery Orders will be released throughout the two year contract period at NOAA’s discretion.
This RFP is NOAA’s next step in implementing the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (PL 115-25), which directs NOAA to obtain commercial weather data from private sector providers following a pilot assessment that demonstrates commercial sector readiness.