The United States has launched the first of its new generation of highly advanced polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. Known as JPSS-1 (for Joint Polar Satellite System), the new satellite is the first in a series of missions that the US is contributing to the space-based component of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) through to 2038.
JPSS-1 will circle the globe just over 14 times per day in a polar orbit. It will do so in a fixed plane in space while the earth is rotating beneath it, and its sensors will thus “see” almost every point on Earth twice per day. This will enable the satellite to provide a treasure trove of information, especially about atmospheric temperatures, humidity fields and the nature and distribution of clouds. These global environmental data are essential inputs for numerical weather prediction models.
JPSS-1 will also deliver space weather observations, search and rescue detection capabilities, and direct read-out and data-collection products and services to customers. The data collected by JPSS-1 will be distributed freely around the world.
“We in WMO often hold up NOAA’s satellite systems as a model to follow. Free and open access to observational data is what will ultimately let us do the best we can in terms of saving lives, minimizing property damage and helping all nations prosper from improved weather and climate services,” said Lars Peter Riishojgaard, TITLE at WMO.
The JPSS fleet will eventually include five satellites. Each satellite carries five state-of-the-art instruments, including the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), the Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) and an instrument to measure the Earth’s energy budget.
The JPSS-1 satellite was launched by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and will be operated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
For more information visit the NOAA website.