Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a division of aerospace conglomerate Raytheon Technologies, has been awarded a US$67m contract to develop an electro-optical infrared weather system (EWS) prototype for the US Space Force’s Space Systems Command.
A successful prototype demonstration will provide electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor data previously made available via the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP).
Paul Meyer, vice president of space and command and control (C2) systems for RI&S, said, “Continuing the DMSP EO/IR capability is critical to military planning for land, sea and air operations. Our satellite will integrate into the early morning orbit, ensuring a seamless transition of weather data without any additional processing.”
The RI&S system will provide global cloud characterization and theater weather imagery observations previously provided by the legacy system but with greater detail and resolution.
“We’re dramatically improving the size, weight and power of the EWS payload with the same observations as high-performing systems,” said Meyer. “Additionally, the team is taking advantage of technology already on-orbit as well as the satellite bus capabilities provided by Blue Canyon Technologies to rapidly deliver the system to the Space Force.”
This contract is a continuation of the EWS initial prototype system design awarded in July 2020. RI&S completed design reviews in January 2021 and is currently working toward the final design review and a competitive “down-select” in January 2022. If selected, the Raytheon design will deliver a system ready for launch by 2025.