General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) is designing for the United States Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) an Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) satellite. This program has now been up-scoped from a one year, on-orbit sensor demonstration to a three-to-five-year prototype spacecraft with residual operational capability.
The program is currently in the competitive phase. If GA-EMS is selected to move into the next phase, the GA-EMS EWS spacecraft will have the capability to provide the Department of Defense (DoD) with operational weather data support as a precursor to an innovative future weather capability.
Earlier this year, GA-EMS successfully delivered an initial EWS design that allowed its transition to the final design phase of the EWS Prototype Demonstration program. GA-EMS’ EWS design efforts are being led from Centennial, Colorado, with critical contributions from teams in Huntsville, Alabama, Fredericksburg, Virginia, and San Diego, California. Manufacturing will be done at the company’s facilities in Tupelo, Mississippi, and spacecraft assembly, integration and test (AI&T) will be managed in Centennial.
For EWS, GA-EMS has an experienced team that includes EOVista, LLC., for the EO/IR weather sensor payload, Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) Inc. for weather product generation and Parsons Corporation (NYSE:PSN) to provide the mission’s Enterprise Ground Station (EGS) command and control, and operations support.
“The GA-EMS EWS spacecraft will now be able to provide extended operations, direct broadcast of weather data to tactical users, and increased reliability to meet mission requirements,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “This pivot, from solely an on-orbit sensor demonstration program to now include residual operational capabilities, illustrates the confidence in GA-EMS’ design to perform as needed and ensure the USSF can continue to provide critical weather information to warfighters around the globe.”
“The EWS program upgrade demonstrates GA-EMS’ commitment to meeting program requirements and delivering superior technologies in smaller footprints to customers when they need it and at right price point,” said Nick Bucci, vice president of Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. “The GA-EMS EWS spacecraft will be ready to fill the EO/IR sensor gap as the DMSP quickly approaches obsolescence and end of life, while also providing the USSF with a next generation advanced weather satellite, sensor and weather products for national security missions.”