March 7 2012

Multi-Agency Satellite Begins Climate And Weather Studies

GREENBELT, Md. -- NASA has completed commissioning of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite (NPP), which is now making global environmental observations. The satellite will provide scientists with critical insight into the dynamics of the entire Earth system, including climate, clouds, oceans, and vegetation. It will also gather enhanced data for improving our nation's weather forecasting system.

The mission, launched in October 2011, is the result of a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Defense. All five of the satellite's instruments now have been activated for science data collection.

"By providing cutting-edge measurements of important Earth system processes, the Suomi NPP mission will increase researchers' knowledge of our home planet, and provide direct societal benefit through more accurate predictions," said Michael Freilich, director, Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This satellite mission, which could only have come to fruition through a close interagency partnership, is multifaceted and its data will be used by a multitude of stakeholders in the U.S. and worldwide."

With the completion of commissioning activities, operation of the Suomi NPP has now been turned over to a Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) team. NOAA's JPSS Program provided three of the five instruments and the ground segment for Suomi NPP. A government team from the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Md., will operate the satellite.