Millennium Space Systems has been awarded a contract to conduct research in support of the US Air Force (USAF) Space and Missile Center’s (SMC) weather satellite follow-on activities (WSFA) risk reduction technology programme.
Awarded by the SMC’s Weather Systems Directorate, the contract requires the company to conduct research on systems and spacecraft for space-based weather sensing in the next year as part of the WSFA programme.
The WSFA programme aims to identify affordable, low-risk and schedule-responsive solutions to address requirements of traditional Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) users, who are expected to experience coverage gaps in the coming years due to changes in domestic and international meteorological satellite programmes.
Millennium WSFA programme manager Michael Mahoney said the company’s approach applies an extremely efficient, flight-proven satellite development capability to close the approaching weather satellite gap.
"Millennium’s solution is affordable, adaptable and technically capable," Mahoney added.
As part of this contract, the company will primarily conduct a detailed and comprehensive study to understand how a disaggregated system could affordably and reliably address or exceed existing DMSP requirements.
A Disaggregated Weather Satellite Pathfinder (DWSP) concept is currently being developed by the company using a constellation of weather sensing satellites to offer gap-filling, augmentation, replenishment and replacement of currently used conventional systems.
The DWSP concept is scheduled to be combined with other WSFA outputs to help enhance and further expand specifications for the possible future government systems acquisition.
Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the DMSP collects and provides terrestrial, space environment and Earth surface data 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.