General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) is set to design and manufacture a prototype weather satellite for the US Space Force (USSF) Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS).

GA-EMS has been selected for the satellite programme under the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC).

The company will be responsible for the design and manufacture of a prototype spacecraft and integrate the EWS payload for military operations globally.

It will also provide on-orbit mission control services to support the collection of theatre weather imagery and cloud characterisation data.

GA-EMS award has been contracted through the SpEC, an other transaction authority (OTA) contract vehicle that is managed by Advanced Technology Incorporated (ATI).

GA-EMS president Scott Forney said: “In addition to our ongoing Orbital Test Bed programmes like the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) for NASA and Argos 4 for the US Air Force (USAF), GA-EMS is pleased to support critical space missions.

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“With EWS we will continue to leverage our expertise in developing scalable architectures and volume-efficient packaging, as well as our expanding satellite manufacturing capabilities to rapidly design and deliver an EO/IR satellite solution to meet the proposed EWS launch date in 2022.”

GA-EMS, EOVista, Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), and Braxton Technologies will work on the EWS.

EOVista will provide the EO/IR payload while AER will perform weather product generation.

Mission Enterprise Ground Station (EGS) command and control and operations support for the programme will be provided by Braxton Technologies.

GA-EMS Missile Defense and Space Systems vice-president Nick Bucci said: “EWS will demonstrate new technologies and lead to optimised future capabilities for effective weather prediction.

“Combining GA-EMS’ proven expertise in satellite design and manufacturing will lead to production of a cost-effective future high-performance weather satellite constellation.”