$21.5M to Extend Launch Schedules for Weather Satellites
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Sunnyvale, CA received a $21.5 million cost-plus award-fee contract modification. This procurement will incorporate new launch schedules for Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Satellites F-17 and F-19, and additional work for Satellite F-18.
The DMSP has been collecting weather data for U.S. military operations for almost 40 years, and 2 operational satellites are in a 101 minute, sun-synchronous near-polar orbit at all times. The primary weather sensor on DMSP is the Operational Linescan System, which provides continuous visual and infrared imagery of cloud cover over an area 1,600 nautical miles wide. Additional satellite sensors based on microwaves, infrared, sounders, et. al. measure atmospheric vertical profiles of moisture and temperature, detect developing patterns of weather and track existing weather systems over remote areas (incl. severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and typhoons), and measure local charged particles and electromagnetic fields to assess the impact of the ionosphere on ballistic-missile early warning radar systems and long-range communications. Additionally, these data are used to monitor global auroral activity and to predict the effects of the space environment on satellite operations.
Satellite F-17’a launch date will move from May 31, 2005 to Dec. 01, 2005.
Satellite F-19’s launch date will move from May 31, 2009 to Oct. 31, 2009.
This contract also includes parallel Mini Inertial measurement Unit and Thermal Control Subsystem integration to the critical path for Satellite F-18 to meet an Oct. 31, 2007 launch date.
Work on this contract will be complete by December 2012. The Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA issued the contract (F04701-02-C-0003, P00049).
Note that the DMSP constellation will be replaced (hopefully) by the troubled NPOESS satellites, and by the European Space Agency’s MetOp constellation.
Additional Readings & Sources
- Air Force Fact Sheet – Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
- Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Home Page
- US Air Force Link (July 20/06) – Defense weather satellites provide environmental support. Describes what the DMSP does in very accessible terms.
- DID (April 29/05) – U.S. Satellite Program Delays & Costs Defended, Criticized