gets DoD contract to launch two microwave weather sensor satellites

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024

WASHINGTON — Boston-based weather intelligence firm was awarded a $10.2 million contract from the Department of Defense to produce and deploy two satellites equipped with microwave sounders for military weather forecasting. was selected a year ago to receive funding through the Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies (APFIT) program, a Pentagon initiative funded by Congress to invest in small businesses and startups with promising technologies.

The one-year contract announced May 13 calls for to manufacture and deliver two microwave sounders by May 2025. These instruments will measure atmospheric temperature and moisture, feeding data into weather prediction models used by the Air Force’s Weather Systems Branch.

The project is overseen by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.The center will assess the capabilities of’s satellites, including revisit rates and overall constellation performance.

The Air Force is seeking to validate the effectiveness of commercially developed weather data for military applications.

Commercial weather radar satellites is known for its hyperlocal, real-time weather forecasting powered by a unique combination of data sources. The company claims to be the first to deploy commercially built weather radar satellites, a technology traditionally dominated by government space organizations, including NASA, the Japanese space agency JAXA and the European Space Agency.

Following the successful launch of its first two radar satellites in 2023, plans to launch a constellation of 28 additional satellites, including some equipped with microwave sounders like those funded by the APFIT program. These launches are expected to begin in 2024, according to a company 2023 news release. 

Speaking at the January 2024 American Meteorological Society annual meeting in Baltimore,’s senior atmospheric data scientist Joe Munchak said the company plans to launch eight microwave sounder satellites in 2024 and to have 18 sounders in orbit by the end of 2025. declined to comment for this article. 

The APFIT contract builds on’s previous defense contracts. The company over the past several years has secured about $20 million in contracts from the U.S. Air Force and the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit to support the development of commercial space-based weather sensors.

SpaceNews correspondent Debra Werner contributed to this report

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “ gets DoD contract to launch two microwave weather sensor satellites”
  1. How will the microwave sounders on the satellites from improve military weather forecasting accuracy?

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