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Maturity Level Definitions

SNPP, which is the first satellite in the JPSS series, was launched on October 28, 2011. The process of checking out the spacecraft and testing its instruments will continue for many months after launch. Despite popular opinion, the ‘real’ work during most space missions does not end after launch. Instead, there is a period of testing, validating and calibrations- defined as Cal/Val.

In fact, the final verification of the instruments and the associated environmental data products will stretch almost the entire lifetime of the spacecraft and will involve multiple levels of testing and review from specialists across the entire remote sensing community.

Below is a listing of the JPSS stages of testing and verification that SNPP will endure and proposed stages of when these stages plan to be met by various NPP instruments.

This methodical review period will ensure that scientists, meteorologists and other specialists are prepared, ready and able to utilize data from the JPSS satellites — as soon as possible after launch.

SNPP SDR

Beta

  • Early release product
  • Initial calibration applied
  • Minimally validated and may still contain significant errors (rapid changes can be expected. Version changes will not be identified as errors are corrected as on-orbit baseline is not established)
  • Available to allow users to gain familiarity with data formats and parameters
  • Product is not appropriate as the basis for quantitative scientific publications studies and applications

Provisional

  • Product quality may not be optimal
  • Incremental product improvements are still occurring as calibration parameters are adjusted with sensor on-orbit characterization (versions will be tracked)
  • General research community is encouraged to participate in the Quality Assurance (QA) and validation of the product, but need to be aware that product validation and QA are ongoing
  • Users are urged to contact JPSS and SNPP Cal/Val Team representatives prior to use of the data in publication.

Validated/Calibrated

  • On-orbit sensor performance characterized and calibration parameters adjusted accordingly
  • Ready for use by the Centrals and in scientific publications
  • There may be later improved versions
  • There will be sting versioning with documentation


SNPP EDR

Beta

  • Early release product
  • Minimally validated
  • May still contain significant errors
  • Versioning not established until a baseline is determined
  • Available to allow users to gain familiarity with data formats and parameters
  • Product is not appropriate as the basis for quantitative scientific publications studies and applications

Provisional

  • Product quality may not be optimal
  • Incremental product improvements are still occurring
  • Version control is in affect
  • General research community is encouraged to participate in the QA and validation of the product, but need to be aware that product validation and QA are ongoing
  • Users are urged to contact JPSS and SNPP Cal/Val Team representatives prior to use to understand issues.
  • May be replaced in the archive when the validated product becomes available

Validated

  • Validated Product uncertainties are well defined over a range of representative conditions
  • Ready for use by the Centrals and in scientific publications
  • More improved versions may develop


There are three sensor product validation stages:

Stage 1 Validation:

Product performance has been demonstrated to comply with the specification using a small number of independent measurements obtained from selected locations, periods and associated ground-truth/field program efforts.

Stage 2 Validation:

Product performance has been demonstrated to comply with the specification over a widely distributed set of locations and periods via several ground-truth and validation efforts.

Stage 3 Validation:

Product performance has been demonstrated to comply with the specification and the uncertainties in the product well-established via independent measurements in a systematic and statistically robust way representing global conditions.