June 2013

NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System Completes Critical Program Reviews

jpss mission 1
A rendering of the JPSS-1 satellite. (CREDIT: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation/NOAA)
NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) recently completed two key programmatic reviews at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and is continuing a steady, on schedule and on budget march toward the 2017 launch of JPSS-1, the second in the series of next generation polar-orbiting weather satellites.

These detailed reviews, known as the Program System Definition Review (P/SDR) and JPSS-1 Mission Preliminary Design Review (MPDR), show the program is on track as it moves forward to meeting even higher-level critical milestones later this summer. The P/SDR is an independent review that evaluates the proposed structure of the program and finalizes the content, schedule and cost. The MPDR is a milestone for an independent review of the design of the JPSS-1 mission, including how the satellite, ground system, launch service, and operations all come together to achieve the mission objectives.

“Completing these reviews demonstrates the success and progress we are making within the overall JPSS program,” said Harry Cikanek, NOAA JPSS program director. “I am proud of the work our combined NOAA/NASA team has done to aggressively implement this program and deliver our products on budget and on schedule.”

Next on tap for the JPSS-1 mission, for which the instruments are almost complete and the spacecraft construction is well underway, is Key Decision Point-C, and the JPSS program Key Decision Point-I. These two additional reviews will monitor the overall readiness of JPSS, and are expected to occur this summer. Following this, the next milestone for the JPSS-1 mission is a Critical Design Review in early 2014. The next major review for the program overall will be in 2015.

The JPSS satellites are a follow on from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, a joint NOAA and NASA satellite and the first spacecraft in the JPSS series, launched on Oct. 28, 2011. Since its launch, the Suomi NPP spacecraft, instruments, and ground system have demonstrated successful operation, showcasing the JPSS capabilities to come.

The JPSS satellites represent significant technological and scientific advances for more accurate weather forecasting to improve prediction capabilities that save lives, facilitate the flow of commerce, and protect the economic interests of both the public and private sectors during severe weather events. NOAA, working in partnership with NASA, ensures a continuous flow of global data for monitoring and forecasting environmental phenomena.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.