The US Navy has awarded a contract to Ball Aerospace & Technologies for Geosat Follow-On 2 (GFO-2), the next-generation ocean altimetry satellite.

Under the contract, the company will upgrade the payloads of the satellite with a dual frequency radar altimeter, and will provide enhanced radio frequency interference immunity with significantly reduced data response time.

Ball Aerospace will also carry out payload / satellite integration, launch vehicle management and on-orbit commissioning.

The GFO-2 is expected to be launched in 2014 with a six-year operational mission life.

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The original GFO satellite was launched in 1998 and decommissioned in 2009, after exceeding its mission life by five years and design life by two years.

The navy will operate the GFO-2 satellite from the Multimission Satellite Operations Center located at Kirtland Air Force Base and the altimetry data will be processed at the Naval Oceanographic Office located at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.