Pentagon’s Acquisition Chief Approves Weather Satellite Plan

August 25, 2010 at 10:40 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: Space News

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department’s acquisition chief on Aug. 13 directed the Air Force to move forward with a new $5 billion weather satellite development program, which industry sources said will use Northrop Grumman-built satellite platforms.

The Pentagon has spent the last few months conceiving a new weather satellite program after the White House in February dismantled the military-civilian National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) effort. Pentagon officials in June presented Congress with a rough outline for the new Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS) and the plan was approved in an Aug. 13 acquisition decision memorandum signed by Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. A copy of the memorandum was obtained by Space News.

The DWSS satellites will feature two instrument packages originally planned for NPOESS: the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite and the Space Environmental Monitoring sensor. The system will also carry a to-be-determined microwave sensor. The Naval Research Laboratory continues to develop the Microwave Imager Sounder that was intended to fly on NPOESS, but the military is looking at other options, an industry source said. More…

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