Space Systems Command has awarded Ball Aerospace a five-year, $78.3 million contract modification to manufacture a second satellite for the U.S. Space Force‘s Weather System Follow-on – Microwave program.
Ball Aerospace will build the next WSF-M satellite with a passive microwave-imaging radiometer and energetic-charged particle sensor instruments to provide space-based environmental monitoring capabilities, SSC said Thursday.
The Department of Defense seeks to address capability gaps in monitoring ocean surface vector winds, tropical cyclone intensity and energetic charged particles through the program.
“The second WSF-M space vehicle extends our ability to measure wind speed and direction over the Earth’s oceans and provide timely tropical cyclone intensity data beyond the first WSF-M space vehicle’s end of life,” said David Betz, WSF-M program manager at SSC Space Sensing.
Capt. Nicholas David, WSF-M chief engineer at SSC Space Sensing, noted the first WSF-M spacecraft is now undergoing system integration and testing in preparation for its launch at the end of 2023.
The first satellite is expected to be fully operational in 2024.