January 23 2015

Second Instrument Integrated with NOAA’s JPSS-1 Spacecraft

The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir (OMPS-N) instrument has been successfully integrated with the JPSS-1 spacecraft, NOAA announced today. OMPS is the second JPSS-1 instrument to be integrated after the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) was installed last month.

OMPS-N was built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation in Boulder, Colorado where the integration also took place. JPSS-1 is the next polar-orbiting NOAA satellite in the JPPS constellation and is scheduled to be launched in 2017.

OMPS tracks the health of the stratospheric ozone layer and measures the concentration of ozone in the Earth's atmosphere. OMPS-N will fly on the JPSS-1 satellite mission and will be used to generate total column ozone measurements. OMPS collects total column and vertical profile stratospheric ozone data and continues the daily global data produced by current ozone monitoring systems—the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Spectral Radiometer (SBUV/2) and Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS)—but with higher fidelity and improved daily global coverage.

“Data from OMPS-N will continue three decades of total ozone and ozone profile records and provide decision makers with valuable environmental intelligence,” said Harry Cikanek, JPSS Program Director. “Understanding ozone in the atmosphere is critical, as it blocks most of the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) light from striking the Earth's surface.”

Ball Aerospace technicians lower the OMPS main electronics box onto the JPSS spacecraft
Ball Aerospace technicians lower the OMPS main electronics box onto the JPSS spacecraft. Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
OMPS-N measurements fulfill the U.S. treaty obligation to monitor global stratospheric ozone concentrations and the recovery of ozone under the Montreal Protocol, which eliminated manmade substances that cause ozone depletion. OMPS-N data are useful when combined with cloud predictions to produce better ultraviolet index forecasts, which help the public to stay aware of harmful UV damage. OMPS is also able to measure other atmospheric elements like sulfur dioxide and ash that result from volcanic eruptions. When combined with other observations, OMPS data are used to provide safety warnings of volcanic ash to aircrafts. The remaining three JPSS-1 instruments to be integrated with the spacecraft in 2015 are: the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS). CERES was integrated in December 2014.

The OMPS instrument suite consists of three spectrometers: a downward-looking nadir mapper, nadir profiler and limb profiler. The entire OMPS suite, OMPS-Nadir (OMPS-N) and OMPS-Limb (OMPS-L), currently fly on board the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP spacecraft and are scheduled to fly on the JPSS-2 satellite mission. OMPS-N will fly on board JPSS-1.

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 sea ice, droughts, forest fires, floods, poor air quality and harmful algal blooms in 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 satellite and ground system.

To learn more about JPSS, view exciting satellite imagery, and experience the science behind the satellites please visit www.jpss.noaa.gov.