The U.S. Air Force is asking industry how it could head off looming gaps in the collection of high-priority weather data.
A proposed U.S. Air Force weather satellite that service leaders said in March could launch as early as 2018 to help plug the gap between the current system and a new-generation capability is now scheduled to launch in 2021, the service said in a report to Congress.
The six Metop Second Generation satellites will be manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space under a 1.3 billion-euro contract signed in October.
Construction has started on the first of eight small satellites in the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) constellation.
The U.S. House Armed Services Committee has fired a shot across the Pentagon’s bow concerning the latter’s plan for providing and maintaining satellite-based weather coverage to support military operations.
Faced with a perfect storm of looming coverage gaps and congressional skepticism of its long-term weather satellite strategy, the U.S. Air Force says it has decided to launch a long-stored legacy satellite despite an internal recommendation against doing so.
The head of Europe’s Eumetsat meteorological satellite organization denied a U.S. Air Force allegation that Eumetsat had reneged on a promise to maintain weather coverage over the Indian Ocean, thus forcing the Air Force to scramble to find replacement capacity.
An instrument Northrop Grumman is building for the next polar-orbiting U.S. civilian weather satellite will miss its March delivery date by months but will not hold up the satellite’s launch.
A House military space oversight panel recommends the U.S. Air Force go “back to the drawing board” on its next-generation polar-orbiting weather satellite program.
The U.S. Air Force plans to award Boeing a $400,000 contract to correct problems on a pair of experimental weather satellites that launched in 2013 but are not yet providing data.
The Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) that Ball Aerospace is building for South Korea’s multipurpose Earth-observing Geo-Kompsat 2B satellite passed its critical design review in February.
The Pentagon and NOAA are still developing a plan to obtain weather satellite coverage of the Middle East and Afghanistan but will not rely on Chinese or Russian satellites.
The U.S. Defense Department could lose its current source of ocean-wind data this year, well before the planned early 2020s launch of its next-generation weather satellite, and is eyeing an interim satellite to plug the gap as early as 2018.