AER Supports Next Generation Air Force Weather Satellite Missions

Lexington, MA, 06/12/20 -- Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) is continuing its decades long support for the Air Force Weather Mission through participation in the Electro Optical/Infrared Weather System (EWS) Prototype Demonstration Program.  The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (AF/ SMC)  recently announced multiple contract awards to begin the development of a next generation Electro Optical/Infrared Weather System with AER supporting multiple teams.  The Air Force awarded three prime contractors, Raytheon, General Atomics and Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates (ASTRA), to begin design work and order long-lead parts capable of meeting DoD requirements for Cloud Characterization and Theater Weather Imagery.  The Government plans a down-select process leading to development, launch and on-orbit demonstration mission by 2023. After demonstration, the intent is to rapidly field a new generation of operational low earth orbiting satellites by 2025, effectively retiring the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP).

DMSP is part of an international family of systems including NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and EUMETSAT’s Meteorological Operational Satellite (MetOp) providing four-hour global coverage.  DMSP is an aging constellation of satellites that has been providing important environmental intelligence data since the mid-1960’s.  With the last operational DMSP satellite launched in 2009 and life expectancy only until ~2023-25, the Air Force is focused on the development of the next generation satellite systems including EWS and Weather Satellite Follow-on Microwave (WSF-M).  These satellite systems, once on-orbit and operational, will become DoD’s environmental weather satellite suite of systems providing critical cloud forecasting, theater weather imagery, tropical cyclone intensity and ocean surface vector winds data to the Warfighters mission planning and operations.

AER, as the scientific leader behind the US Air Force’s world-wide operational cloud analysis and forecast system, will apply its expertise to optimize the design and operational development of the next-generation EWS System. AER’s support to the USAF cloud analysis and forecasting mission dates back more than 30-years supporting the Cloud Depiction and Forecast System (CDFS-II) program which processes data from the world-wide constellation of low earth orbit and geosynchronous weather satellites, including DMSP.  AER brings to the EWS program its broad capabilities in instrument band optimization, EDR performance evaluation using AER’s cloud algorithm test bed, SDR algorithm development and development and operations of ground processing system.

AER is proud to continue its support on both the EWS and WSF-M contracts continuing our DoD legacy supporting the on-going and future needs of the warfighter.

At Atmospheric and Environmental Research, we are dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of the atmosphere, ocean, and space environment translating this into actionable information for our customers. 

For additional information contact Scott Luce, AER Senior Director Business Development, 

(260) 249-0678