General Atomics Buys EO Vista

Image: General Atomics

General Atomics acquired EO Vista, an electro-optical sensor supplier, the company announced Friday. EO Vista will be tucked into the General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems division, which houses the company’s satellite manufacturing and nuclear propulsion operations. 

EO Vista is currently a General Atomics supplier, providing electro-optical weather sensors for its satellite buses. The acquisition brings a key capability in-house and adds to General Atomics space systems offerings.

“We look forward to bringing EO Vista’s unique capabilities on board as we continue to expand our weather and science programs and our growing portfolio of sensor system payload designs to support a wide range of customer requirements, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions,” General Atomics executive Scott Forney said in a statement

Military weather: The pair teamed up in 2022 to build a demo weather satellite for the Space Force’s Electro-Optical/Infrared Weather System (EWS) program. Electro-optical sensors capture images in a multitude of wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light and infrared light. 

  • The EWS constellation will provide weather data needed for military operations including informing flight routes, maritime tracking, missile observation, and intelligence.
  • The next-gen satellites will replace the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) constellation, which is aging and set to expire in a couple years.

+ Nuclear to Mars: In addition to building out its satellite capabilities, General Atomics is building nuclear propulsion tech for the Pentagon. The defense contractor nabbed a $22M DARPA contract in 2021 to support the development of nuclear thermal propulsion for in-space transportation. The program aims to develop a spacecraft that can significantly reduce the duration of future crewed missions to Mars.

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