August 12 2013

NOAA's JPSS Program Procures Critical Weather Prediction Instrument

On behalf of NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Program, NASA has awarded a contract to develop the third Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument that will fly on board the JPSS-2 satellite mission, scheduled for launch in 2021. Raytheon Company, the current VIIRS contractor, received the NASA contract.

The first VIIRS, currently flying on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite mission, provides valuable data used by the operational and research communities for advanced global imagery to monitor features in the atmosphere, land, oceans, and cryosphere— including storms, fires, smoke, vegetation, sea surface temperature, phytoplankton, sea ice and snow cover. The second VIIRS will fly on board the JPSS-1 satellite mission, scheduled for launch in 2017. Together, these three satellites will ensure a continuous flow of next-generation satellite imagery, enabling the NOAA's National Weather Service and the National Ice Center, to develop highly accurate and timely forecasts, a critical role in severe weather prediction. NOAA's Ocean Service and Fisheries Service will also use the data to meet NOAA's other mandates.

Click here to read a recent article about the important role VIIRS played in the prediction of recent tropical storm Flossie.

JPSS, the Nation's next generation polar-orbiting environmental satellite system, is a collaboration between NOAA and NASA. JPSS provides continuity of critical, global Earth observations, including ocean, clouds, ozone, snow, ice, vegetation and atmosphere.

VIIRS is the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and collects visible and infrared imagery and radiometric measurements of the land, atmosphere, cryosphere, and oceans. It extends and improves upon a series of measurements initiated by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Operational Linescan System (OLS) flown on Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). In fact, it was the VIIRS' Day/Night Band sensor that captured the widely popular and beautiful 'Earth at Night' Black Marble image.

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 built by Raytheon Company, El Segundo, California.

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