Raytheon Technologies has been awarded a $67 million contract to test the prototype weather system it designed for the US Space Force, the company announced December 15.
The Space Force selected Raytheon to design a prototype Electro-Optical Infrared Weather System (EWS) in 2020 to replace the Defense Weather Satellite Program (DMSP), which provided the military with weather imagery observation data and cloud cover analysis for operational theatres. since the 1960s.
Through this complementary award, Raytheon was commissioned to provide operational data to Space Systems Command via its prototype. The company said its system will provide higher resolution and detail, thereby improving DMSP.
“We are significantly improving the size, weight and power of the EWS payload with the same observations as high-performance systems,” vice president of Raytheon Space and Command-and-Control Systems Paul Meyer noted.
“In addition, the team is taking advantage of technology already in orbit as well as satellite bus capabilities provided by Blue Canyon Technologies to quickly deliver the system to Space Force.”
Congress ordered the Air Force to replace the DMSP in 2015. As the satellites near the end of their service, some officials have expressed concern that they won’t remain operational until 2024.
Meyer emphasized the importance of the system and the seriousness of its task in delivering technology on time: “Maintaining DMSP EO/IR capability is critical to military planning for land, sea and air operations.
Completing its preliminary design reviews in January 2021, the company is working towards a final design review and “top-down selection” in January 2022. Raytheon has assured that it can complete the system and deploy it by 2025.