NOAA awards contract to manage Fairbanks Satellite Operations Facility

April 15, 2011

NOAA officials today announced that ASRC Aerospace Corp., of Greenbelt, Md., has been awarded a contract to operate and maintain the agency’s Fairbanks Satellite Operations Facility (FSOF) located in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The contract, which was signed April 5, has four one-year option periods for a total value of $34.3 million. Under the contract, ASRC Aerospace Corp. will maintain FSOF operations—from testing and upgrading equipment, to monitoring software and providing critical support of the ground station systems and subsystems, and physical security of the station.

Nestled in Alaska’s Gilmore Valley, FSOF is farther north than any other satellite communications facility in North America. As a result, it receives more environmental satellite data than any other station and is a vital link to satellites operated by NOAA and other agencies.

“NOAA has operated this station since the mid-1960s and it remains critical in our ground system network to acquire global environmental data which plays a major role in NOAA’s ability to make accurate weather and climate forecasts,” said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

The FSOF captures data from a variety of satellites, ranging from NOAA’s geostationary and polar-orbiting spacecraft, the Department of Defense’s Meteorological Satellite Program, NASA’s Earth Observing satellites, and international environmental satellites.

FSOF will be one of the data receptor sites for the Joint Polar Satellite System, which is being developed by NOAA with technical assistance from NASA, and will provide important data used by NOAA for weather forecasting.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Find us on Facebook.