Space Systems Command Selects General Atomics & Orion Space Solutions for Weather System Program

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (USSF SSC PR) — The USSF Space Systems Command (SSC) Space Development Corps has completed all System Final Design Reviews (FDRs) for the Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) program, and, through competitive evaluation, subsequently exercised options to develop and launch two separate sensor prototypes to Orion Space Solutions and General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS).

Orion Space Solutions, a non-traditional vendor, will launch a one-year EO/IR CubeSat prototype demonstration in fall 2022. Next, GA-EMS has been selected to launch a three-year EO/IR SmallSat prototype with the capability to deliver operational data by 2025.

“This is a major step forward for the EWS Program,” said Lt. Col. Joseph L. Maguadog, EWS materiel leader and program manager. “The Space Force Space-Based Environmental Monitoring (SBEM) capabilities provide key global terrestrial and space weather data for DoD to plan, execute, and assess daily mission operations. Our industry partners have worked very hard to meet our warfighter’s needs and we look forward to continuing our partnership to deliver this vital capability in the very near future.”

This EO/IR imaging capability will succeed the aging Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), at a lower cost to the government. It will be used by the U.S. and its NATO allies to provide continuous data that aids in evaluating current and forecasting future weather effects, aiding the warfighter and informing important functions such as flight routes, combat search and rescue, maritime surface tracking efforts, enemy missile observation, and intelligence collection.

These capabilities deter adversarial threats and affect global impact across the entire range of civil and military operations, from humanitarian and disaster relief to joint warfighters executing major combat operations.

Space Systems Command is the U.S. Space Force field command responsible for rapidly identifying, prototyping and fielding resilient space capabilities for joint warfighters. SSC delivers sustainable joint space warfighting capabilities to defend the nation and its allies while disrupting adversaries in the contested space domain. SSC mission areas include launch acquisition and operations; space domain awareness; positioning, navigation and timing; missile warning; satellite communication; and cross-mission ground, command and control and data.