General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has achieved a milestone for the US Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) weather system (EWS) satellite programme.

The company’s spacecraft prototype for the programme has successfully completed the final design review (FDR).

The prototype has been designed by leveraging a reliable, redundant bus with a high-performance EO/IR weather sensor payload.

The achievement follows after the company announced increased scope of its proposed EO/IR weather system satellite for the programme.

In November 2021, the company updated the prototype from a one-year sensor demonstrator to an on-orbit three-to-five-year prototype spacecraft with residual operational capabilities.

The EWS satellite programme seeks to help the USSF to move to modern weather satellites from ageing on-orbit systems and deliver essential weather data to the warfighter.

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GA-EMS space systems vice-president Gregg Burgess said: “The Defense Meteorological Satellite Programme satellites are rapidly reaching end of life. 

“By pivoting to provide operational capability, we enable the Space Force to continue to support the warfighter by filling EO/IR cloud data gaps created as legacy satellites are retired. 

“Our world-class manufacturing, test and integration facilities are ready to meet the critical build and launch timelines for EWS.” 

GA-EMS is serving as the prime contractor of the project and its team includes EO Vista, Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) and Parsons.

EO Vista is responsible for delivering the EO/IR weather sensor payload, AER for weather product generation, and Parsons is offering Enterprise Ground Station command and control and operations support.