The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the Nation's next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This interagency effort (JPSS) is the latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.
JPSS was established in the President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget request (February 2010) as the civilian successor to the restructured National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). As the backbone of the global observing system, JPSS polar satellites circle the Earth from pole-to-pole and cross the equator about 14 times daily in the afternoon orbit—providing full global coverage twice a day.
Satellites in the JPSS constellation gather global measurements of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions, including sea and land surface temperatures, vegetation, clouds, rainfall, snow and ice cover, fire locations and smoke plumes, atmospheric temperature, water vapor and ozone. JPSS delivers key observations for the Nation's essential products and services, including forecasting severe weather like hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards days in advance, and assessing environmental hazards such as droughts, forest fires, poor air quality and harmful coastal waters. Further, JPSS will provide continuity of critical, global Earth observations— including our atmosphere, oceans and land through 2025.
NOAA, an agency within the Department of Commerce (DOC), works in partnership with NASA on all JPSS missions, ensuring a continuous series of global weather data and increased accurate weather prediction— securing a more "Weather-Ready Nation."
The global environmental data from JPSS will be fed into Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models for forecasts and used for climate monitoring. In fact, the primary user of JPSS data is NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS). Once the polar-orbiting data is retrieved from the JPSS satellites, the data is entered into NWP models that are utilized by NOAA's National Weather Service to better predict medium- and long-term weather, including severe weather phenomena.
During the early stages of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the polar-orbiting satellite data helped NOAA's National Weather Service forecasters and scientists accurately predict Sandy's hurricane track and infamous 'left hook' landfall into New York and New Jersey–more than five days in advance.