Weather System Follow-on Microwave
The Weather System Follow-on Microwave (WSF-M) Satellite is the United States Department of Defense's next-generation operational environmental satellite system. WSF-M will be a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite with a passive microwave imaging radiometer instrument and hosted furnished Energetic Charged Particle (ECP) sensor. The Air Force intends to include ECP sensors on all future satellites for space weather monitoring, starting from the early 2020s. WSF-M is currently contracted for launch in 2022.
WSF-M will be the first satellite in the Weather System Follow-on (WSF) program. Following the cancellation of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), the Air Force pursued development of a new weather satellite under the Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS) program. However, when that system faced delays and funding issues, the White House cancelled it and instituted the WSF program.
WSF-M is designed to mitigate three high priority DOD Space-Based Environmental Monitoring (SBEM) gaps: ocean surface vector winds, tropical cyclone intensity and LEO energetic charged particles.
- Russell, Kendall (30 November 2017). "Ball Aerospace Wins Air Force Contract for New Weather Satellite". www.satellitetoday.com. Via Satellite. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
- Werner, Debra (March 6, 2019). "Are small satellites the solution for space weather monitoring?". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2019-10-13.
- Foust, Jeff (8 March 2019). "GAO takes weather satellite program off watch list". SpaceNews. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
The Defense Department, meanwhile, is addressing its own potential weather data gap with the development of the Weather System Follow-on — Microwave spacecraft. The Air Force awarded a contract to Ball Aerospace for that satellite for a 2022 launch.
- "USAF Weather Satellite Program in Disarray". defense-aerospace.com. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.