Ready For Launch, Ball Aerospace Completes Prep For JPSS-1 Satellite

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

November 9, 2017 – NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) is encapsulated inside the fairing (nose cone) of a United Launch Alliance Delta II launch vehicle ready for lift off from Space Launch Complex-2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on November 14, 2017 at 2:47 a.m., MST. JPSS-1 is a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA.

“The JPSS-1 bus is based on our Ball Configurable Platform 2000, a proven, agile spacecraft, which has 50 years of on-orbit operations and is designed for cost-effective, remote sensing applications,” said Alex Chernushin, JPSS-1 Program Manager, Ball Aerospace. “JPSS-1 is the twelfth spacecraft built on this core architecture, including the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) spacecraft launched in 2011.”

The sensor capabilities for JPSS-1 have similar capabilities to those of Suomi NPP: the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) and the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES), built by Northrop Grumman; the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), built by Harris; the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir (OMPS-N), built by Ball; and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), built by Raytheon.

Collecting data on our Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land surface, JPSS-1, or NOAA-20 as it will be known once it reaches its polar orbit, will feed NOAA’s National Weather Service models, giving forecasters the actionable environment intelligence they need to monitor and predict weather patterns with greater speed and accuracy. This will enable emergency managers to make timely decisions to protect lives and property, including ordering effective evacuations five to seven days in advance.

In addition, the data from JPSS-1 gives troops a competitive advantage on the battlefield; allows transportation industry to prepare and move resources, protecting local economies; and provides citizens with more accurate weather forecasts to plan their day.

The JPSS-1 spacecraft was built and integrated by Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado.