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Joint Polar Satellite System

From our global observations to your local weather forecast
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Ground System

The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Ground System supports NOAA-20 and a diverse set of low Earth-orbiting satellites used for operational weather forecasting, environmental monitoring and climate research.

Developed by NASA on behalf of NOAA, the JPSS Ground System features high data capacity, low data latency, improved data quality and high operational availability to meet the nation’s critical needs for accurate and timely weather forecasting.

Polar Orbit

The JPSS Ground System is designed to provide satellite constellation management, mission planning and scheduling, satellite command and control, data acquisition, data routing, data processing, product generation and distribution and system sustainment services. The full suite of services is used in support of the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) mission launched in 2011, and NOAA-20 launched in 2017, and will be used to support future JPSS missions. Consistent with program requirements to deliver key observations for the Nation’s essential products and services, including the forecasting of severe weather, the JPSS Ground System also provides data acquisition, routing and/or processing support to the following:

  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Global Climate Observation Mission—Water 1 (GCOM-W1)
  • U.S. Department of Defense’s—Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
  • U.S. Missions supported by NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation missions (such as Terra, Aqua, Aura, Landsat)
  • Meteorological operations missions of the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites’ (EUMETSAT)
  • NSF’s Antarctic research program at McMurdo station

Mission operations are conducted primarily from NOAA’s Satellite Operations facility (NSOF) in Suitland, Maryland. A backup capability at the NOAA facility in Fairmont, West Virginia, ensures continuity of operations in an event of outage at NSOF. A dedicated global Wide Area Network (WAN) links the remote ground stations, the mission operation centers and data users. In addition, the JPSS Ground System provides instrument and data product calibration and validation functions and supports field terminal users with software, documentation and operations support data. The data products produced by the JPSS Ground System include detailed cloud coverage, atmospheric temperature and pressure, ozone distribution, as well as snow cover, vegetation, aerosols, and Earth radiation budget information. This wealth of information enables numerous users to monitor and predict changes in weather, climate and ocean conditions.