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DMSP satellite

Harris has received a study contract from the US Air Force’s (USAF) Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) to support modernisation of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP).

Awarded by the SMC’s Weather Systems Directorate, the contract requires the company to conduct a comprehensive study and make recommendations to help upgrade the legacy programme.

The company will analyse existing DMSP space and ground assets and also develop plans to demonstrate the method by which they can evolve into the weather satellite follow-on (WSF) to address mission requirements with reduced lifecycle costs.

Specific items to be analysed include information assurance, net-centric data strategies, scalability and affordability.

Harris Government Communications Systems Environmental Systems product line vice president Romy Olaisen said the company has served as DMSP technology partner for more than five decades and is looking to play a significant role in shaping its architecture in the future.

"Specific items to be analysed include information assurance, net-centric data strategies, scalability and affordability."

"The Harris study approach will apply proven expertise in satellite data processing, command and control and automated product generation and distribution to enable a cost-effective approach for providing weather information to the warfighter," Olaisen added.

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The study is expected to address potential compatibility and transition issues, cutover of operations, sustainment impacts, minimising of disruptions to operations and security accreditation implications.

Recommendations that are likely to be provided by the company will include an evolutionary approach that utilises its innovative and proven data processing capabilities to address critical weather information requirements.

The approach is capable of delivering the flexibility, adaptability and scalability needed by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to meet existing and future national security challenges in an affordable and cost-efficient manner.

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the DMSP provides strategic and tactical weather prediction to help the US military in planning operations on the ground, at sea and in the air.

Image: Impression of the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program-Block-5D2 satellite in orbit. Photo courtesy of GDK.

Defence Technology