ITT Exelis Geospatial Systems of Fort Wayne, Ind., will study options for a next-generation U.S. military weather satellite system under a U.S. Air Force contract valued at $12 million, the U.S. Defense Department announced Jan. 31.

The one-year “cost-plus-fixed-fee” study contract was awarded by Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center under broad agency announcement issued in June. The broad agency announcement covers risk-reduction work for the weather satellite system, including studies of advanced sensors and alternative architectures.

The Air Force plans to request funding for full-scale development of the system, intended to replace the legacy Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellites — of which the service has just two remaining — in 2015.

In December, the Air Force awarded study contracts for the effort to ATK Space Systems and the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory valued at $5.9 million and $9.4 million, respectively.