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U.S. DoD weather satellite will fly with navigation receiver from RUAG Space

(4 March 2021 - RUAG Space) RUAG Space has been awarded a contract from Ball Aerospace to provide a navigation receiver for Weather System Follow-on—Microwave (WSF-M), a next-generation Department of Defense (DoD) operational environmental satellite system.

Ball is the prime contractor for WSF-M, which will address critical space-based environmental monitoring (SBEM) requirements.

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RUAG Space’s low earth orbit navigation receiver (LEORIX) (courtesy: RUAG Space)

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A conceptional drawing of the Weather System Follow-on – Microwave (WSF-M) satellite. (courtesy: Ball Aerospace)

GNSS receiver for precise determination of the satellite’s position

This contract comprises the production, test, and delivery of a Global Positioning System LEORIX Navigation Receiver. RUAG Space GNSS receivers have been functioning low earth orbit (LEO) applications flawlessly for over 15 years. “Our Low Earth Orbit navigation receivers are the most precise receivers on the market,” said Luis de Leon Chardel, Executive Vice President ad interim, RUAG Space. “They can determine a satellite’s position in orbit with an accuracy of less than one meter.”

“Understanding weather and environmental conditions is key to protecting warfighters and enabling military operations,” said Allison Barto, WSF-M program manager, National Defense, Ball Aerospace. “When executing critical programs like WSF-M, we look forward to the highly collaborative work with our partners, suppliers and customers to ensure the success of the mission.”

Denver-based Electronics team

In 2019, RUAG Space began focusing on the U.S. Electronics market to reach a target segment that was previously hard to reach from Europe. RUAG Space now has a Denver-based Electronics team that contains Engineering and Project Management to meet U.S. requirements.

For the entire electronics portfolio – from onboard-computers, navigation receivers to antennas and more – RUAG Space now offers a direct technical interface and customer service to U.S. clients. This formula allows RUAG Space to utilize its global team of experts and creates a win-win situation globally for all customers. “This contract is a breakthrough order for the U.S. electronics initiative and opens a pipeline for similar orders this year”, says Anders Linder, Senior Vice President Electronics at RUAG Space. The navigation receiver will be built in Vienna, Austria, and is scheduled for delivery to Ball in September 2021.

Accurate environmental intelligence

DoD weather satellites provide accurate, actionable environmental intelligence data that support U.S. military operations. The WSF-M mission is designed to specifically address three critical SBEM gaps: ocean surface vector winds, tropical cyclone intensity, and LEO energetic charged particle characterization, a space weather gap.

About RUAG Space

RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe and the United States. With more than 1,300 staff across six countries, it develops and manufactures products for satellites and launch vehicles – playing a key role both in the institutional and commercial space market.



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