General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has completed the Initial Design Review (IDR) of the space vehicle and ground segment for the US Space Force (USSF) Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) satellite programme.

EWS aims to deploy a space vehicle to meet all the military’s cloud characterisation and theatre imagery product requirements in time to replace the current, aging Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP).

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,” explained Scott Forney, GA-EMS President. “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 1-hour revisit time - ensuring timely and accurate weather forecast data for the warfighter and national security missions.”

The GA-EMS-led industry team includes EOVista (providing the EO/IR payload) Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER – weather product generation) and Parsons Corporation (ground station, C2 and operations support).

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,” stated Nick Bucci, VP of Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. “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 characterization capability and other weather products to US warfighters.”

GA is on track to deliver a prototype for the EWS space vehicle by 2022. (Image: General Atomics)

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