US Space Force declares IOC of infrared weather satellite EWS-G1

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The US Space Force (USSF) has announced the Initial Operating Capability (IOC) of the Electro-Optical Infrared Weather System (EWS-G1) geostationary spacecraft.

The EWS-G1 is the first geostationary weather satellite belonging to the United States Department of Defense (DoD).

The satellite provides the DoD with up-to-date cloud information and theater weather imagery in the Indian Ocean region, supporting the needs of Central Command and other operations rooms.

Formerly named GOES-13, EWS-G1 was transferred from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the USAF last year.

The transfer in accordance with the USAF-NOAA agreement on interagency cooperation on the collection of space-based environmental monitoring data.

The transfer and migration of EWS-G1 is the result of a joint effort by the USSF Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), NOAA and NASA.

After the transfer, NOAA and the US Space Force conducted an inspection of the spacecraft and EWS-G1 sensors.

All conditions have been met to declare the system functioning normally and the EWS-G1 is providing weather data to DoD forecasters.

GOES-13 was originally launched in 2006 and provided ten years of operational weather coverage on the East Coast of the United States, after which it was replaced by GOES-16 at the GOES-East location.

NOAA will continue to operate EWS-G1 on behalf of the US Space Force from the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland, as well as the Wallops Command and Data Collection Station in Virginia.

Charlotte Gerhart, SMC Production Corps Low Earth Orbit Division Manager, said, “EWS-G1 is a great example of innovation and leveraging partnerships. SMC has partnered with NOAA and NASA to provide visible and infrared geostationary cloud characterization and theater weather imagery in the Indian Ocean region.

“This effort demonstrates speed by allowing the spacecraft to be moved and operated in the Indian Ocean region long before a new satellite can be produced and commissioned.

“Repurposing GOES-13 and residual NOAA ground equipment accomplished the mission at a fraction of the cost of purchasing an all-new system.”

Last month, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) planned to design and manufacture a prototype weather satellite for the USSF’s Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS).

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