Physical Optics has won a not-to-exceed $24.5 million IDIQ contract to complete development and provide test and evaluation examples (two of each) of its MICRO WEATHER SENSOR (MWS) and ADVANCED MICRO WEATHER SENSOR to the US Air Force. Mönch understands these are most likely to be used by US Special Forces. Work is expected to be complete by late 2021.
Compact, weighing less than one pound, the football-sized MWS provides real time and continuous weather data via 22 embedded sensors: data ranges from dew point and barometric pressure to pressure altitude and a variety of other metrics. A LIDAR measures cloud height and a camera provides 360° images. Data will be funnelled to ground control centres via Iridium satellites. MWS can be deployed by hand, air-dropped or installed on a micro air vehicle to provide users with deep weather reconnaissance.
The contract follows a previous Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Requirement acquisition.