US: The first of five instruments that will fly on Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) next polar orbiting environmental satellite, has completed its pre-shipment review. CERES measures reflected sunlight and thermal radiation emitted by the earth and builds on the NOAA‘s previous Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and NASA‘s Earth Observing System (EOS) missions.
Above: Engineers prepare to remove the CERES instrument from the Radiometric Calibration Chamber following the completion of thermal vacuum testing at Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing facility in Redondo Beach, Calif. This sensor will be integrated onto the JPSS (Joint Polar Satellite System) spacecraft, scheduled for launch in early 2017. (Credit: Northrop Grumman Corporation)
Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service said, “We’re on track to have JPSS-1 ready to launch in 2017, adding to a robust satellite fleet that provides vital environmental intelligence for the nation and the world.” Data from CERES will also improve observations of seasonal climate forecasts, including large-scale events like El Niño and La Niña. The CERES instrument is built by Northrop Grumman.
The remaining four instruments that are yet to be delivered include: Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) and Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), which work closely together to provide atmospheric and temperature profiles for weather forecasting; Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which creates high-resolution imagery of the atmosphere using visible and infrared channels; and Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS), which measures ozone concentration in the atmosphere and provides significant input to the numerical forecast models.