Ball
Ball

SWFO-L1

Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1

Monitoring Solar Storms/Early Warning Beacon

Ushering in a new generation of space weather observing satellites, the Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1) mission is expected to launch in 2024 and facilitate early warnings for destructive space weather events. While orbiting the Sun at about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth on the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1, SWFO-L1 will collect solar wind data and coronal imagery to meet NOAA’s operational requirements to monitor and forecast impacts from solar storm activity. SWFO-L1 continues critical measurements from several observatories at Lagrange Point 1, including the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE).

The mission will provide the nation with critical remotely sensed and in situ observations to assess the space weather environment and provide early warning of damaging space weather events to protect critical national infrastructure like the electric grid and space-based assets. SWFO-L1 will host several instruments to measure and assess space weather, including detecting coronal mass ejection events.
SWFO-L1 instruments include:
  • The Naval Research Laboratory’s Compact Coronagraph
  • The Supra Thermal Ion Sensor from the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley
  • A magnetometer from the Southwest Research Institute
  • An X-Ray sensor from ESA
  • The Solar Wind Plasma Sensor from the Southwest Research Institute
SWFO-L1 rendering
Credit: Ball/SOHO

What We're Doing

SPACECRAFT PROVIDER, INTEGRATION & TEST LEAD

Ball Aerospace was selected by NASA to design, build and integrate the high-performing small satellite for NOAA’s SWFO-L1 mission in partnership with the Goddard Space Flight Center. Ball will also perform satellite-level testing, help train the flight operations team, check-out the satellite in orbit and support mission operations. The SWFO-L1 mission builds on the success of our spacecraft buses designed for operational weather missions like NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP, as well as high-performing small satellite missions like STPSats-2 and 3 and the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).

Ball Aerospace is also building an operational environmental satellite for the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center called the Weather System Follow-on – Microwave (WSF-M). WSF-M will host its own Energetic Charged Particle space weather sensor in addition to its primary instrument to measure ocean winds.