General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has achieved a major milestone in the US Space Force (USSF) Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) satellite programme by completing the initial design review (IDR) of the programme’s space vehicle and ground segment.
The USSF Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) EWS programme aims to deploy a space vehicle capable of fulfilling the military’s requirements for cloud characterisation and theatre imagery.
It is being developed to replace the current, ageing Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP).
GA-EMS president Scott Forney said: “GA-EMS is on track to deliver a prototype EWS system by 2022 capable of filling gaps in critical weather data for the US military as the DSMP approaches the end of its lifecycle.
“Our low SWaP-C prototype is on the path to be the first satellite in a future constellation architecture that will provide better performance, resiliency and mission assurance, as well as less than a one-hour revisit time, ensuring timely and accurate weather forecast data for the warfighter and national security missions.”
GA-EMS has employed EOVista, Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) and Parsons for the EWS satellite programme.
EOVista has been engaged to provide the EO/IR sensor payload, AER performs weather product generation while Parsons provides the mission’s Enterprise Ground Station (EGS) command and control, as well as operations support.
GA-EMS Missile Defense and Space Systems vice-president Nick Bucci said: “The GA-EMS prototype employs an advanced small satellite design and an enhanced sensor with significant weather imaging upgrades that meet all current and future weather needs.
“The elegance of this satellite design leads to reduced system cost while significantly improving performance over the system lifecycle, leading the way for other USSF missions to reduce cost while improving capabilities and resilience.
“The combination of low-cost sensor and satellite bus enables procurement of a disaggregated, global constellation that provides an organic, resilient and timely global cloud characterisation capability and other weather products to US warfighters.”