The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded contracts to Spire Global (NYSE: SPIR), GeoOptics and PlanetiQ to supply space weather data under a pilot program that seeks to demonstrate the impact of commercial data on weather forecast models.
The Commercial Weather Data Pilot contracts call for the three companies to provide radio occultation measurements that offer insights into ionospheric conditions to enable NOAA to assess whether commercial data could support its operational space weather applications and models, NOAA said Thursday.
The CWDP studies will run for approximately 12 months and NOAA will evaluate whether to continue purchasing commercial weather data to back its operational forecasting efforts.
NOAA awarded the contracts in compliance with the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act and the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017.
Chuck Cash, vice president of federal sales at Spire, told SpaceNews in an email the company generates radio occultation data through its constellation of over 100 satellites.
“We’ve provided radio occultation data to NOAA for over three years and are thrilled to expand our relationship to provide data for space weather forecasting research, which will lead to safer and more efficient operations of planes and spacecraft,” Cash said.