Shaheen and Bridenstine Announce UNH Selected for $107.9 Million Federal Contract Under Competitive NASA Program

August 01, 2019

**UNH will lead important development of satellite imagery technology to aid coastal science including hazard identification and mitigation**

** Shaheen led efforts to fund this NASA program**

 (Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Jim Bridenstine, announced that NASA has awarded the University of New Hampshire (UNH) a $107.9 million contract award through the Earth Venture program. Shaheen is the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds NASA.

UNH was selected for the highly-competitive contract after beating out 7 other finalists with their Geostationary Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer (GLIMR), which will deliver hyperspectral ocean color data that can be used in coastal science, resource management and hazard mitigation, identifying hazards such as harmful algal blooms (HABs), hypoxia and oil spills. The project is led by UNH Professor Joseph Salisbury alongside major partners from NASA Goddard, Raytheon and Southwest Research Institute.

“This award boosts New Hampshire’s profile as a leader in research, academia and innovation, and makes us all immensely proud,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “Congratulations to the entire team at UNH for winning this highly-coveted contract. I’m excited to see the technology developed through this award. It’s critical that we closely monitor the health of our oceans and assess risks for coastal communities to protect both our environment and our economy. Securing federal resources that invest in scientific research and exploration have been and will continue to be top priorities for me as the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee tasked with funding these important programs.”

“This innovative instrument from the University of New Hampshire, selected by NASA, will provide a powerful new tool for studying important ecosystems,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Its findings also will bring economic benefits to fisheries, tourism, and recreation in the coastline area.”

Through her leadership on the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee, Shaheen protected Earth Science funding, including the Earth Venture program, and ensured that the fiscal year (FY) 2019 CJS funding legislation provided the full amount of $167.5 million for Earth Venture missions.  This program funds low-cost missions to fulfill high-priority Earth observations, including the development of instruments to fly on commercial satellites and the International Space Station. UNH’s GLIMR will fly aboard a commercial geostationary satellite over the Gulf of Mexico.  The sensor will also have a clear view of the Continental U.S. coastal waters, and other areas of interest such as the Caribbean and the Amazon River plume.

Senator Shaheen will join NASA Administrator Bridenstine for a visit to UNH on August 29th. They will meet with the GLIMR principal investigator to celebrate and congratulate the university’s newest contribution to NASA’s mission of exploration and scientific discovery. Information about media availability will be released closer to the date of the visit.