NOAA Begins to Procure Satellite Weather Data From Spire, GeoOptics

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration started buying weather data from satellite companies Spire Global (NYSE: SPIR) and GeoOptics and kicked off testing data from a third company in 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

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GeoOptics and Spire were two of the three companies that secured contracts from NOAA in July 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 these vendors to provide radio occultation measurements that provide insights into ionospheric conditions to help NOAA assess whether commercial data could support its operational space weather applications and models.

NOAA said it has carried out market research on commercial weather data based on other technologies but vendors offering such data have been slow to turn up.

We’re getting a subset of what we hoped,” said Dan St. Jean, deputy director of the office of system architecture and advanced planning at NOAA’s satellite and information service.

All the signs in the nascent ‘new space’ industry indicated that there would be a plethora of venture capitalists wanting to compete for NOAA’s commercial pilot/purchase dollars. But that just never materialized,” he added.

NOAA now intends to conduct solicitations for commercial weather data providers on an annual basis, according to the report.

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