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NOAA to install new space weather satellite ground station in I-79 High Technology Park


FAIRMONT — Last week, the High Technology Foundation in Fairmont announced that a $51 million Space Weather Follow On (SWFO) Satellite Antenna Network soon will be built in the foundation’s I-79 Technology Park. 

A contract for the antenna network was awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to Columbia, Maryland-based KBR Wyle Technology Solutions. The network, which will support a satellite officially called SWFO-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1), is set to be completed in the Fairmont-based technology park, where it will provide telemetry, command and ranging services for NOAA. 

The antenna network will provide NOAA with the ability to “communicate” with the SWFO-L1, which will hitch a ride to space through NASA’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe mission, set to launch in February 2025. The satellite is to provide NOAA with “continuous measurements of the space environment, including observations of the sun’s outer atmosphere, and contributing to accurate forecasts of space weather disturbances.” 

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