Ball Aerospace Begins Environmental Testing For JPSS-1

Artist's concept of the JPSS-1 satellite. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.

Artist’s concept of the JPSS-1 satellite. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.

April 22, 2016 – Ball Aerospace has begun environmental testing on the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) satellite. JPSS-1 will represent significant technological and scientific advancements in severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring and will further weather, climate, environmental and oceanographic science.

Ball Aerospace is responsible for designing and building the JPSS-1 spacecraft, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir instrument, the integration of all instruments and performing satellite-level testing and launch support, under a procurement contract to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Environmental testing of the spacecraft and integrated instruments subjects the system to the simulated environments of launch and space to help certify mission readiness. The testing is underway in Ball’s Fisher Complex, Boulder, Colorado, in the same facility where the spacecraft was built and integrated.

Following acoustic, vibration, and electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility testing, the satellite will undergo thermal vacuum testing from July through early fall. The thermal vacuum testing will expose the satellite and its five instruments to the extreme temperatures experienced in space.

A pre-shipment review is scheduled to be held in the fall prior to the spacecraft’s shipment to California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base for its planned early 2017 launch.

“Heading into the final series of environmental tests marks completion of the development and integration phase, on time and on schedule,” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space business unit. “We look forward to having the next polar-orbiting satellite on-orbit to ensure continuous coverage of precise and timely weather information.”

Like its predecessor, the Ball-built Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, JPSS-1 hosts five instruments. They are:

  • Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder – Northrop Grumman
  • Cross-track Infrared Sounder – Harris Corporation
  • Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite – Raytheon
  • Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System – NASA’s Langley Research Center
  • Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir – Ball Aerospace
  • The JPSS missions are funded by NOAA to provide global environmental data in low Earth polar orbit. NASA is the acquisition agent for the flight systems, launch services, and components of the ground segment.