tech track papers

Categories: 2017, Big Ideas and Architectures

The NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture Study

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is conducting an analysis to plan its future operational environmental satellite architecture.  This is an opportunity to design a more agile space architecture, which NOAA defines as a set of instruments, their allocation to orbital platforms assigned to specific orbits, and a set of rules by which the platforms populate and sustain the constellation.

The study is organized into three major components; the instrument catalog development, the value model development, and the architecture integration. The effort is iterative through three complete architecting cycles conducted sequentially. Each of the cycles accomplishes complete, end-to-end designs of multiple alternative architectures.

NOAA chartered a Satellite Platform Requirements Working Group (SPRWG) to help establish the target range of requirements and use cases against which are the basis of the value model.  NOAA then added strategic objectives on issues such as affordability and assurance to the value model, which is then used to “score” different architecture concepts.

The Instrument Catalog team identified existing, developmental, and proposed instruments that may achieve these requirements across the tradable performance range.  The team solicited new instrument concepts from industry and government laboratories, as well as catalogued the current NOAA sensors and possible variations.

The Architecture Integration team generates and assess architectures against the value model and performs cost analysis, including the impacts of different production levels and use of block design and acquisitions.

The NSOSA study is allowing NOAA to rapidly assess a relatively broad range of opportunities, from traditional acquisition to commercial services to international and interagency partnerships.  We are exploring future architecture that optimize for mission risk balance and overall observing system performance and reliability. This paper will report on the progress and results to date of the NSOSA study.


Author: Karen St. Germain
Topic: Big Ideas and Architectures

  • The NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture Study

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