ITT Exelis has secured a subcontract for designing an advanced receiver chain for the US Air Force’s (USAF) weather satellite follow-on activities (WSFA) programme.
Awarded by Ball Aerospace & Technologies, the $3.2m award requires the company to improve the design of a digital receiver, which is based on an Exelis subsystem employed on the global precipitation measurement microwave imager (GMI) instrument, for integration into a future WSF GMI system.
Besides enabling enhanced detection of natural microwave radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface, the design will also help USAF forecasters to use the resulting measurements to describe ocean surface winds, including speed and direction from space.
Exelis antennas, sensors and microelectronics programs senior director Paul Eyring said the improved GMI receiver design capabilities will deliver weather information critical to USAF mission planning.
”Our company legacy with space-based remote sensors ensures we are supporting the WSF programme with the most affordable, low-risk receiver technology,” Eyring added.
The company has also received a $13m WFSA programme contract to design and develop the final concept for an affordable and low-risk weather imaging sensor system in February.
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Work under the latest contract is scheduled to be carried out by Exelis Electronic Systems in Amityville, New York, US, while the performance period remained undisclosed.
Managed by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), the 12-month WSFA programme aims to identify affordable, low-risk and schedule-responsive solutions to help address requirements of the legacy Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) users.
The DMSP operators are expected to experience coverage gaps in the coming years due to changes in domestic and international meteorological satellite programmes.
Manufactured by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Systems, DMSP collects and provides terrestrial, space environment and Earth surface data to help the US military in planning of operations on the ground, at sea and in the air.
Image: Artist’s impression of the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program-Block-5D2 satellite in orbit. Photo courtesy of GDK.