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article imageNOAA's next-generation weather satellite system launched today

By Karen Graham     Nov 18, 2017 in Technology
The first in a series of four highly sophisticated, next-generation polar-orbiting satellites was launched in the early morning hours of Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 satellite, or JPSS-1, launched into orbit atop a United Launch Alliance-built Delta II rocket at 1:47 a.m. PST, after two scrubbed launch attempts earlier this week due to high winds and boats inside the restricted launch range zone, according to Space.com.
“The value of the new JPSS satellite cannot be understated after this tragic hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in an NOAA press release. “JPSS offers an unparalleled perspective on our planet’s weather, granting NOAA advanced insights which will be used to guard American lives and communities.”
United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carrying the JPSS-1 satellite sits on Space Launch Complex 2 ...
United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carrying the JPSS-1 satellite sits on Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg AFB in California.
NOAA/NASA
Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc., a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc, helped to propel the Delta II rocket carrying the Ball Aerospace-built JPSS-1 satellite. “The RS-27A and AJ10-118K engines continue Aerojet Rocketdyne’s strong legacy of placing critical satellites into orbit with 100 percent mission success,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in partnership with NASA, operates both geostationary satellites, such as the GEOS-16, which stay in orbit in a fixed position, as well as polar-orbiting satellites, like the Suomi NPP, which launched in 2011. Interestingly, at a news conference on November 12, officials said the Suomi NPP was originally intended to test the next-generation technology for the JPSS-1, but it has instead turned out to become a valuable weather and Earth analysis satellite.
"This is huge," Greg Mandt, director of the JPSS program, said during live commentary just after the dazzling liftoff of JPSS-1. "JPSS 1 is part of a national polar-orbiting weather satellite program, and we really need this because 85 percent of all the data from our weather forecast models come from this series of weather satellite. We're looking forward to getting good data from this satellite."
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) represents significant technological and scientific advances...
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) represents significant technological and scientific advances in environmental monitoring . This is a front view of the JPSS-1.
NOAA
What will the JPSS-1 do once it is in orbit?
Once in orbit, the JPSS1 will begin orbiting the Earth 14 times a day in a polar orbit, passing over the North and South Poles every 45 minutes. Presently, the Suomi NPP sends down a total of 126GB every single day. The JPSS-1 will double that when it comes online soon.
The most important function of the JPSS satellite system will an increase in the timeliness and accuracy of forecasts three to seven days in advance of a severe weather event. NOAA's National Weather Service uses JPSS data as a critical input for numerical forecast models, providing the basis for these mid-range forecasts.
And as more JPSS satellites are put into orbit, they will be passing over the poles more frequently, meaning the data they send to forecasters on the ground will be even more real-time. JPSS satellites are designed to beam that data back in a raw form. “The scientific community is finding ways to take the data and get more information out of it every week,” says Mark Sargent, Raytheon’s JPSS Programs director.
Image of atmospheric conditions using Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on November ...
Image of atmospheric conditions using Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on November 18, 2017 at 2:56 p.m. EST.
NOAA/STAR
Science behind the JPSS-1
This year's hurricane and fire seasons proved just how valuable NOAA's Earth-orbiting satellites are in forecasting extreme weather events and hazardous wildfires. The data provided by these satellites will not only improve weather forecasting but will be essential to predicting a hurricane's track, as well as climate patterns that can influence weather.
The NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) leads efforts to develop, test, validate and refine the science algorithms to process S-NPP and JPSS instrument data from VIIRS, CrIS, ATMS, and OMPS into user required data products. The public may not realize the extent of the information these data products provide.
Scientists here on Earth have access to global measurements of such quantities as sea surface temperature, ocean color, ozone and trace gases, aerosols, clouds, temperature and moisture profiles, wind speeds, land surface properties, and snow and ice cover, to name just a few things.
To get a real-time view of atmospheric conditions across the Earth, GO HERE.
More about JPSS1 satellite, NOAA, Suomi NPP satellite, nextgeneration, ULA Delta II rocket
 
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