Military Embedded Systems

Microsatellites from Blue Canyon Technologies will fly for NASA mission


April 13, 2023

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Artist's rendering: NASA/JPL

LAFAYETTE, Colo. Blue Canyon Technologies --a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies that manufactures small satellites and provides mission services -- has been tapped to design and manufacture three microsatellites to support NASA’s Investigation of Convective Updrafts (INCUS) mission.

The Blue Canyon Technologies announcement describes the INCUS mission -- led by Colorado State University and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory -- as an attempt to more clearly understand the complex dynamics of thunderstorms and their impact on Earth’s climate and weather models. Blue Canyon’s microsatellites will fly in tandem coordination, each displaying a dynamic atmospheric radar and dynamic microwave radiometer measuring the atmospheric conditions of Earth. 

An earlier description of the INCUS mission by NASA officials describes it as a direct look at why convective storms, heavy precipitation, and clouds occur exactly when and where they form. The mission stemmed from the 2017 Earth Science Decadal Survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which laid out ambitious, but critically necessary, research and observation guidance.

In 2021, Karen St. Germain, NASA’s Earth Science division director, said of the mission: “In a changing climate, more accurate information about how storms develop and intensify can help improve weather models and our ability to predict risk of extreme weather. This information not only deepens our scientific understanding about the changing Earth processes, but can help inform communities around the world.”

Featured Companies


300 E Street SW
Washington, DC, 20546