Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was awarded a U.S. Navy contract in April 2010 a $5.5 million contract from the Naval Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command to design a satellite dubbed GFO 2 (Geosat Follow-On-2) that will measure ocean height and thermal properties. Ball built and launched the first GFO satellite at a cost of $85 million. The satellite operated from 1998 to 2008.
The GFO-2 satellite is built on Ball's BCP-2000 bus. The radio altimeter instrument would be provided by Thales Alenia Space of France, the water vapor radiometer would be supplied by ITT Electronic Systems of Clifton, N.J. and the GPS precision receiver would be provided by Broad Reach Engineering of Golden, Colo., Brown said.
Until GFO-2 becomes available, the Navy worked out a deal with NASA and the French space agency, CNES, to use data from their two jointly operated oceanography satellites, Jason 1 and Jason 2, until GFO-2 is operational.
GFO 2 was planned to launch in January 2014 either on a commercially procured or government-provided launch vehicle, and have a six-year design life. Procurement of the satellite was deferred until at earliest 2016. It appears to have been cancelled.
|Type / Application:||Altimetry|
|Equipment:||Radio altimeter, water vapor radiometer, GPS precision receiver|
|Power:||Solar arrays, batteries|
|Orbit:||775 km × 878 km, 108° (planned)|