JPSS Site Logo
A collaborative mission between NOAA and NASA  NOAA LogoNASA Logo

Suomi NPP Instruments at a Glance

Mouseover the links or the photo.

JPSS Instruments, image map CrIS:  Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) is the first in a series of advanced operational sounders that provides more accurate, detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations for weather and climate applications. This high-spectral resolution infrared instrument measures the three-dimensional structure of atmospheric temperatures, water vapor and trace gases. It provides over 1,000 infrared spectral channels at an improved horizontal spatial resolution and measures temperature profiles with improved vertical resolution to an accuracy approaching 1 Kelvin (the absolute temperature scale). VIIRS:  Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite(VIIRS) combines the radiometric accuracy of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) currently being flown on the NOAA polar orbiters with the high spatial resolution (0.56 km) of the Operational Linescan System (OLS) flown on DMSP. The VIIRS  provides imagery of clouds under sunlit conditions in about a dozen bands, and also provides coverage in a number of infrared bands for night and day cloud imaging applications. 
OMPS:  Ozone in the atmosphere keeps the Sun's ultraviolet radiation from striking the Earth. The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS)  measures the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere, providing information on how ozone concentration varies with altitude. Data from OMPS continues three decades of climate measurements of this important parameter used in global climate models. ATMS:  The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS)  operates in conjunction with the CrIS to profile atmospheric temperature and moisture. The ATMS is the next generation cross-track microwave sounder that  combines the capabilities of current generation microwave temperature sounders (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit – AMSU-A) and microwave humidity sounders (AMSU-B) that are flying on NOAA's POES CERES:  The CERES measurements seek to develop and improve weather forecast and climate models prediction, to provide measurements of the space and time distribution of the Earth's Radiation Budget (ERB) components, and to develop a quantitative understanding of the links between the ERB and the properties of the atmosphere and surface that define that budget.The observations from CERES are essential to understanding the effect of clouds on the energy balance (energy coming in from the sun and radiating out from the earth), which is one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our modeling of the climate.
* Suomi NPP is part of the JPSS Program. For more information, visit About JPSS

Detailed Instrument Descriptions


CrIS is the Cross-track Infrared Sounder. CrIS is the first in a series of advanced operational sounders that provides more accurate, detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations for weather and climate applications.

This high-spectral resolution infrared instrument measures the three-dimensional structure of atmospheric temperatures, water vapor and trace gases. It provides over 1,000 infrared spectral channels at an improved horizontal spatial resolution and measure temperature profiles with keen vertical resolution to an accuracy approaching 1 Kelvin (the absolute temperature scale). This information helps significantly improve climate prediction, including both short-term weather "nowcasting" and longer-term forecasting. It also provides a vital tool for NOAA to take the pulse of the planet continuously and assist in understanding major climate shifts. The CrIS instrument is developed by ITT Exelis, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) measures the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere, providing information on how ozone concentration varies with altitude. Ozone in the atmosphere keeps the Sun's ultraviolet radiation from striking the Earth. Data from OMPS continues three decades of climate measurements of this important parameter used in global climate models. The OMPS measurements also fulfill the U.S. treaty obligation to monitor global ozone concentrations with no gaps in coverage. OMPS is comprised of two sensors: (1) a nadir sensor, and (2) a limb sensor. Measurements from the nadir sensor are used to generate total column ozone measurements, while measurements from the limb sensor generate ozone profiles of the along-track limb scattered solar radiance. The OMPS instrument is developed by the Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colorado.

VIIRS is the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite. VIIRS combines the radiometric accuracy of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), which is currently flown on the NOAA polar orbiters with the high spatial resolution (0.56 km) of the Operational Linescan System (OLS) flown on DMSP. VIIRS provides imagery of clouds under sunlit conditions in about a dozen bands, and provides coverage in a number of infrared bands for night and day cloud imaging applications. In fact, it was the VIIRS’ Day/Night Band sensor that captured the widely popular and beautiful ‘Earth at Night’ Black Marble image [PDF].

VIIRS features multi-band imaging capabilities to support the acquisition of high-resolution atmospheric imagery and generation of a variety of applied products, including visible and infrared imaging of hurricanes and detection of fires, smoke and atmospheric aerosols. VIIRS also provides capabilities to produce higher-resolution and more accurate measurements of sea surface temperature than currently available from the heritage AVHRR instrument on POES, as well as provides an operational capability for ocean-color observations and a variety of derived ocean-color products. The VIIRS instrument is developed by Raytheon Company, El Segundo, California.

ATMS is the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder. ATMS operates in conjunction with the CrIS to profile atmospheric temperature and moisture. The ATMS is the next generation cross-track microwave sounder that combines the capabilities of current generation microwave temperature sounders (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit, AMSU-A) and microwave humidity sounders (AMSU-B) that are flying on NOAA's POES. The ATMS draws its heritage directly from AMSU-A/B, but with reduced volume, mass and power. The ATMS hosts 22 microwave channels to provide temperature and moisture sounding capabilities. Sounding data from CrIS and ATMS combines to construct atmospheric temperature profiles at 1 degree Kelvin accuracy for 1 km layers in the troposphere and moisture profiles accurate to 15 percent for 2 km layers. Higher (spatial, temporal and spectral) resolution and more accurate sounding data from CrIS and ATMS supports continuing advances in data assimilation systems and NWP models to improve short- to medium-range weather forecasts. The ATMS instrument is developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation Azusa, California.

The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant System (CERES) measurements seek to develop and improve weather forecast and climate models prediction. CERES helps provide measurements of the space and time distribution of the Earth's Radiation Budget (ERB) components, further developing a quantitative understanding of the links between the ERB and the properties of the atmosphere and surface that define the budget. The observations from CERES are essential to understanding the effect of clouds on the energy balance (energy coming in from the sun and radiating out from the earth), which is one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our modeling of the climate.