January 29, 2015 – Two of the five instruments scheduled to fly on the nation’s next polar-orbiting weather satellite, NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System -1, have been integrated to the spacecraft bus by prime contractor Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir (OMPS-N) along with the Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments are now aboard the spacecraft. Next up is the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) set to arrive in February. The satellite is on schedule for delivery to NOAA and launch in 2017. JPSS-1 is critical for continuity of long-standing atmospheric, ocean and land measurements currently provided by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) mission. The Suomi NPP satellite launched in 2011 and was also built by Ball Aerospace.
“Integration of JPSS-1 continues to proceed on schedule,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager of Ball’s Operational Space business unit. “NOAA and NASA are reaping enormous benefit from the Suomi NPP satellite, and maintaining that continuity makes the timely completion and launch of JPSS-1 very important to our nation.”
The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir (OMPS-N) was built by Ball Aerospace. OMPS-N data is used at NOAA for numerical weather prediction modeling and a variety of environmental observations, like volcanic ash monitoring to aid in aircraft safety warnings. CERES, built by Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems division for NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, measures the reflected sunlight and thermal radiation emitted by the Earth, two components of the Earth’s Radiation Budget (ERB). Ball also anticipates arrival of the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrlS) in the first quarter of 2015 with the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) to follow.
NOAA is responsible for the funding and requirements for JPSS and teams with NASA, which procures the flight and portions of the ground segment. NOAA is also responsible for operations of the satellites and instruments after launch. Under contract to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Ball Aerospace is responsible for designing and building the JPSS-1 satellite bus, the OMPS instrument, integrating all instruments, and performing satellite-level testing and launch support.