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Blue Canyon wins largest constellation order to date is planning to begin gathering radar and microwave observations to feed weather models by the end of 2024.

Blue Canyon Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, will provide 18 cubesats for weather technology company microwave sounding mission.

In the company’s largest constellation delivery to date, Blue Canyon will provide 18, integrated cubesats and payload elements, support payload integration, conduct integrated space vehicle tests, including environmental testing, and provide pre-launch mission operations services. The company has successfully launched 44 spacecraft and more than 1,300 components since the firm’s inception.

The microwave sounder payload leverages the heritage of NASA’s TROPICS programme by using MIT Lincoln Laboratory‘s, next-generation, Microwave Sounder Instrument that collects temperature, water vapor, precipitation, and cloud ice measurements to study storms and other meteorological events. This constellation of passive microwave sounders will complement’s constellation of weather radar satellites.

The combination of radar and microwave-sounding data leans on the long heritage of NASA’s Global Precipitation mission and is expected to significantly improve real-time situational awareness, short-term nowcasts, medium-term forecasts, and climate studies.

These smallsats will be designed, built and tested in the company’s new CubeSat Factory, which opened in Boulder, Colorado. Once in production, BCT will deliver two space vehicles per month.

John Carvo, Executive Director of CubeSats at Blue Canyon Technologies, said: “Our cubesat and components teams are looking forward to building at a larger scale, in a new facility, with improved payload interfaces and standardized designs. Raytheon Technologies’ continued investment has allowed us to increase inventory and acquire new testing equipment and facilities, so we can continue providing innovative products and the agility to move quickly to ensure rapid delivery to our customers.”