Encyclopedia Astronautica
GFO


American earth resources radar satellite. One launch, 1998.02.10. GFO was a follow-on to the successful GEOSAT program which flew between 1985 and 1990. GFO was to provide real-time ocean topography data to 65 Navy users at sea and on shore.

This data on wave heights, currents and fronts would also be archived and made available to scientific and commercial users through NOAA.

The GFO contract was awarded in September 1992 and was worth $46M for the first satellite and $115M if options for two additional spacecraft were exercised. These costs included launch, ground software and 60 days operation. The contract included incentive fees based on long-term on-orbit performance. The spacecraft was 3-axis stabilized. A single solar array with 1-axis articulation provided power. The hydrazine propulsion system was used for orbit maintenance. Redundant GPS receivers provided precise orbit determination with an rms accuracy (radial component) of 10 cm. A doppler beacon transmitter was also carried to support orbit determination. A radar altimeter was the primary payload. This 13.5 GHz radar provided 3.5 cm height measurement precision. The other payload was a dual frequency (22 and 37 GHz) water vapor passive radiometer with a path correction accuracy of 1.9 cm rms. Total payload was 47 kg and 121 watts.

AKA: GEOSAT Follow On; Techstar.
Payload: 47 kg (103 lb).
Height: 3.00 m (9.80 ft).
First Launch: 1998.02.10.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Taurus Pad-launched launch vehicle using Pegasus upper stages and Castor-120 first stage. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Taurus American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Pad-launched launch vehicle using Pegasus upper stages and Castor-120 first stage. First launch used slightly larger Peacekeeper ICBM first stage instead of Castor-120. Under a 2002 contract from Boeing, Orbital developed a three-stage version of Taurus to serve as the interceptor boost vehicles for the US government's missile intercept system. The firm portion of the company's contract, awarded in early 2002, was valued at $450 million and extended through 2007. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...
  • Ball American manufacturer of spacecraft. Ball Aerospace and Technology, Boulder, Colorado, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA GSFC Orbital Parameters,

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...

GFO Chronology


1992 September - .
  • GFO Contract - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: GFO. Summary: GFO was a follow-on to the GEOSAT program. GFO was to provide real-time ocean topography data. The GFO contract was awarded in September 1992 and is worth $46M for the first satellite and $115M if options for two additional spacecraft are exercised..

1998 February 10 - . 13:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Taurus 2210. LV Configuration: Taurus 2210 T2.
  • GFO - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Manufacturer: Ball. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources radar satellite. Spacecraft: GFO. USAF Sat Cat: 25157 . COSPAR: 1998-007A. Apogee: 788 km (489 mi). Perigee: 786 km (488 mi). Inclination: 108.1000 deg. Period: 100.60 min. Summary: Altimeter..

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