By concluding its critical design review (CDR) of the U.S. Space Force’s Weather System Follow-on (WSF) satellite, Ball Aerospace is now entering into the full production phase of producing the advanced satellite system. The firm is building the satellite for the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). The next-generation operational environmental satellite system will provide environmental intelligence to military operations as needed.
“Measuring and understanding the physical environment is critical to military operations, from determining tropical cyclone intensity for asset protection and maneuver operations to how wind and sea state play into assured access and aircraft carrier operations,” said Mark Healy, vice president and general manager for National Defense at Ball Aerospace. “Ball is proud to be a mission partner with the Space Force, working closely and collaboratively to ensure the success of this program, which extends Ball’s legacy of providing precise measurements from space to enable more accurate atmospheric and ocean forecasting.”
The WSF is meant to provide the U.S. Department of Defense with environment intelligence it may not be receiving from Space-Based Environmental Monitoring (SBEM) sources, including ocean surface vector winds and low-earth-orbit (LEO) charged energy particles. The WSF will also help to monitor sea ice characterization, soil moisture and snow depth. Ball Aerospace is the prime contractor for the program and is responsible for developing instrumentation, spacecraft and system software, and the algorithms for the data products and delivering them to the SMC.