General Atomics Satellite Prototype Upgraded for United States Space Force Electro-Optical Infrared Weather System Satellite Program

SAN DIEGO, 29 Nov 2021 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that the spacecraft it is designing for the United States Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) satellite program has been up-scoped from a one year on orbit sensor demonstration to a three-to-five-year prototype spacecraft with residual operational capability. The program is currently in the competitive phase. If GA-EMS is chosen to move into the next phase, the GA-EMS EWS spacecraft will have the capability to provide the Department of Defense (DoD) with operational weather data support as a precursor to an innovative future weather capability.

“The GA-EMS EWS spacecraft will now be able to provide extended operations, direct broadcast of weather data to tactical users, and increased reliability to meet mission requirements,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “This pivot, from solely an on orbit sensor demonstration program to now include residual operational capabilities, illustrates the confidence in GA-EMS’ design to perform as needed and ensure the USSF can continue to provide critical weather information to warfighters around the globe.”

Earlier this year, GA-EMS successfully delivered an initial EWS design that allowed its transition to the final design phase of the EWS Prototype Demonstration program. GA-EMS’ EWS design efforts are being led from Centennial, CO with critical contributions from teams in Huntsville, AL, Fredericksburg, VA, and San Diego, CA. Manufacturing will be done at the company’s facilities in Tupelo, MS and spacecraft assembly, integration and test (AI&T) will be done in Centennial.

“The EWS program upgrade demonstrates GA-EMS’ commitment to meeting program requirements and delivering superior technologies in smaller footprints to customers when they need it and at right price point,” stated Nick Bucci, vice president of Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. “The GA-EMS EWS spacecraft will be ready to fill the EO/IR sensor gap as the DMSP quickly approaches obsolescence and end of life, while also providing the USSF with a next generation advanced weather satellite, sensor and weather products for national security missions.” 

For EWS, GA-EMS has an experienced team that includes EOVista, LLC, for the EO/IR weather sensor payload, Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) Inc. for weather product generation, and Parsons Corporation (NYSE:PSN) to provide the mission’s Enterprise Ground Station (EGS) command and control, and operations support.

About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems
General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS’ history of research, development, and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, space systems and satellites, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial, and commercial customers worldwide. For further information, visit

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