December 17 2014

First JPSS-1 Satellite Instrument Integrated with Spacecraft

Latest Antenna to Directly Receive Suomi NPP Polar Satellite Data Now Installed

The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument that will fly on the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 spacecraft (JPSS-1), NOAA's next polar orbiting environmental satellite, has been successfully integrated with the spacecraft. CERES is the first JPSS-1 instrument to be integrated, marking the start of a new phase in the completion of the satellites’ development. CERES was built by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California and was shipped to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado for integration.

CERES measures reflected sunlight and thermal radiation emitted by the Earth and builds on the highly successful legacy instruments flown on NOAA's previous Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) missions. CERES data will help scientists and researchers continue to understand the links between the Earth's energy balance, both incoming and outgoing, and parts of the atmosphere that affect it. CERES’ long-term satellite data will also improve observations of seasonal climate forecasts, including large-scale events like El Niño and La Niña.

CERES instrument integration with the JPSS-1 spacecraft
CERES instrument integration with the JPSS-1 spacecraft. Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
“This is an exciting milestone for the JPSS program. CERES is the first JPSS-1 instrument to be integrated with the spacecraft and the others will be integrated in the coming year," said Harry Cikanek, JPSS program director. "We're on track to have JPSS-1 ready to launch by the 2nd quarter of FY 2017, enhancing NOAA’s satellite fleet of polar-orbiting satellites that provide vital environmental intelligence for the nation and the world.”

The remaining four JPSS-1 instruments to be integrated with the spacecraft in 2015 are: the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS), the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), and the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS).

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advances in environmental monitoring and will help advance weather, climate, environmental and oceanographic forecasting and monitoring. 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 helping to secure a more ‘Weather-Ready Nation.’

JPSS enables scientists and forecasters to monitor and predict weather patterns with greater accuracy and to study long-term climate trends by extending the more than 30-year satellite data record. NOAA is responsible for managing and operating the JPSS program, while NASA is responsible for developing and building the JPSS spacecraft and ground system.

To learn more about JPSS, view exciting satellite imagery, and experience the science behind the satellites please visit