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NOAA to use data from Japanese GCOM-W1 satellite

US: Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will use data from the Global Change Observation Mission 1 – Water (GCOM-W1) satellite, a new Japanese polar-orbiting satellite, according to the NOAA’s press statement.

The NOAA will use GCOM-W1 satellite data to forecast severe storms, monitor the decline of Arctic sea ice and predict the onset of El Niño, La Niña and other global climate phenomena. Once deemed operational, data from the GCOM-W1 satellite and the US’ Suomi NPP satellite, will strengthen the environmental monitoring capabilities of both nations.

The instrument at the GCOM-W1 satellite, the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR-2), will provide data crucial for tracking sea-surface temperatures and support near real-time weather and ocean forecasts.

In addition, NOAA will provide ground support, including ground reception of AMSR-2 data, and transmit it from Norway’s Svalbard Satellite Ground Station to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and to NOAA. NOAA will also process, archive and distribute AMSR-2 data products to users and make data from the Suomi NPP satellite and the upcoming Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) satellites available to JAXA.

“The cooperation between NOAA and JAXA is strong,” said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. “JPSS will extend the agreement, providing significant and lasting benefits to scientists around the world”

JPSS is now operating Suomi NPP. The mission is a partnership between NASA and NOAA and is the first in a series of next-generation polar-orbiting satellites.The second in the series, JPSS1, is on track to launch in 2017.  

Kicza added, “The data from GCOM-W1 will complement the data we expect from JPSS, allowing us to meet observational requirements that otherwise would be difficult to meet.”

“GCOM-W1, given the Japanese nickname “SHIZUKU” (“water drop”), is the first satellite of the GCOM series which enables us to observe global-scale, long-term climate change,” said Dr. Masanori Homma, executive director for Space Applications Mission Directorate, JAXA. “We expect GCOM-W1, observing data of the global water cycle, will contribute greatly to NOAA’s activities.”

Source: NOAA