artic weather satellite


The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Arctic Weather Satellite has passed its Critical Design Review, a key step to start the manufacturing of the satellite ahead of planned launch in 2024. AAC Clyde Space supplies the mission’s main instrument, as well as core avionics, under contracts valued at a total of 13.5 MEUR (approx. 160 MSEK).

AAC Clyde Space has developed a passive microwave radiometer specifically for the mission, which will provide data for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), Nowcasting (NWC). The data, consisting of temperature and humidity measurements of the atmospheric layers, will improve weather forecasting over the Arctic regions and will also contribute to the understanding of climate change, which is particularly noticeable in these regions. The Group also supplies the mission with a Starbuck power system and a Sirius command and data handling system.

“The Arctic Weather Satellite is a flagship project for AAC Clyde Space and for the Nordic region as a whole. It aims to dramatically improve weather forecasting in the Arctic region and greatly improve our understanding of climate change. It illustrates the major benefit of using small satellites to collect earth observation data as it allows more frequent and less costly data collection with the same quality.”, says AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes.

The Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS) is a pathfinder mission to demonstrate the importance of radiometric measurements to improve weather forecasts in the Arctic region. When this first phase of the project delivers its results, the contract may be expanded to include a constellation of several satellites. The requirements of the first system are thus adapted to allow scaling up to a constellation of satellites.

OHB Sweden is prime contractor for the mission which also uses OHB Sweden’s InnoSat platform. The entire AWS industrial team includes 31 companies from 12 countries. The Arctic Weather Satellite is funded under a contract with the European Space Agency under the Earth Watch program.