Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will build an environmental measuring instrument for a joint U.S.-Taiwan observatory satellite constellation under a $5.8 million contract awarded by the U.S. Air Force.
The company is contracted to build five Ion Velocity Meters for the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate-2, Ball Aerospace said Wednesday.
Six COSMIC-2 satellites are scheduled to launch into low-inclination orbits in late 2015 and will work to carry out atmospheric and ionospheric observations for gathering data related to radio wave propagation, among other functions.
“IVM measurements are important for assessing the effects of space weather on spacecraft and communications, ” said Dave Kaufman, vice president and general manager for Ball Aerospace’s national defense business unit.
The U.S. Air Force is responsible for three space weather payloads on the first six satellites.
Partner agencies for the COSMIC-2 program include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Taiwan’s National Space Organization.