Broomfield, CO /PRNewswire/ - Ball Aerospace successfully concluded testing on the Weather System Follow-on – Microwave (WSF-M) satellite this week, representing the completion of the first of two satellites Ball is delivering for the U.S. Space Force's Space Systems Command next-generation operational environmental satellite system.
Once on orbit, WSF-M will provide the Department of Defense with critical data meant to fill gaps in existing space-based environmental monitoring, such as the speed and direction of ocean winds, tropical cyclone intensity, ice thickness, snow depth and soil moisture. The satellite is scheduled to launch early next year from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
"The completion of the WSF-M satellite is an important milestone in Ball Aerospace's ongoing mission to protect what matters most," said Hope Damphousse, vice president, Strategic Operations, Ball Aerospace. "The data this satellite gathers will be invaluable in ensuring our nation's warfighters across all domains have the environmental intelligence they need to properly plan and execute their vital missions."
As the prime contractor on the project, Ball Aerospace designed, built and integrated the spacecraft bus, ground data processing software and the Microwave Imager (MWI), the primary instrument on the satellite that uses passive radiometric measurements at multiple microwave frequencies to collect environmental data. The satellite will also host a government-built Energetic Charged Particle (ECP) sensor that will provide space weather measurements in low-Earth orbit.
Last year, Ball Aerospace was awarded a follow-on contract to build and deliver a second WSF-M satellite, which is expected to be completed in early 2026. The WSF-M program further expands Ball Aerospace's robust heritage work in space-based environmental monitoring systems, which includes the development of the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument operating on the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2), in addition to the Ball-built Suomi National Polar Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) and NOAA-20 satellites. Ball also built the Ion Velocity Meter (IVM) space weather sensors flying on five satellites in the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate-2 (COSMIC-2) environmental satellite program.
Powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus, Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. Go Beyond with Ball.® For more information, visit www.ball.com/aerospace or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BALL) supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 21,000 people worldwide and reported 2022 net sales of $15.35 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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