Cross-track Infrared Sounder Instrument Integrated On JPSS-1 Spacecraft

The CrIS instrument is moved into position just prior to integration with the JPSS-1 spacecraft. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

The CrIS instrument is moved into position just prior to integration with the JPSS-1 spacecraft. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

April 9, 2015 – The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), which will fly aboard NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 satellite, has been successfully integrated with the spacecraft. CrIS was built by Exelis, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was delivered to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado, for integration.

CrIS is the fourth instrument to be integrated on the JPSS-1 spacecraft. It follows successful integration of the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir (OMPS-N) instrument, the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES), and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

CrIS provides more accurate, detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations essential for weather forecasting. CrIS does this through high performance needed to maintain and improve weather forecast skill out to five-to-seven days in advance of a severe weather event. The sounding accuracy CrIS provides advances the overall capabilities of NOAA operational sounders.

Continuous CrIS global measurements are used by NOAA’s National Weather Service to enhance numerical weather prediction model forecasts, aiding short- and long-term weather forecasting. Over longer timescales, they will help improve understanding of climate phenomena, such as El Niño and La Niña and including continental transport of greenhouse gases.

“The CrIS integration completion marks our continued progress toward the 2017 launch of the JPSS-1 satellite,” said Harry Cikanek, JPSS program director. “CrIS data, combined with observations from the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) instrument make it possible to provide the global coverage necessary for warnings days in advance of severe weather, supporting NOAA’s mission of creating a more ‘Weather-Ready Nation’.”

CrIS is currently flying on-board the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP and will fly on the JPSS-1 and JPSS-2 satellite missions scheduled for launch in 2017 and 2021, respectively. The 2016 President’s Budget includes a request for Polar Follow-on (PFO), which will allow NOAA to achieve polar-orbiting weather constellation robustness and extend operations of the overall system to as far as FY 2038. PFO adds JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 missions which include CrIS as an essential component.

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advances in environmental monitoring and help advance weather, climate, environmental and oceanographic forecasting and monitoring. JPSS delivers key observations for the Nation’s essential products and services, including forecasting severe weather like hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards days in advance, and assessing environmental hazards such as droughts, forest fires, poor air quality and harmful coastal waters helping to secure a more “Weather-Ready Nation.”

JPSS enables scientists and forecasters to monitor and predict weather patterns with greater accuracy and to study long-term climate trends by extending the more than 30-year satellite data record. JPSS is a collaboration between NOAA and NASA. NOAA is responsible for managing and operating the JPSS program, while NASA is responsible for developing and building the JPSS instruments, spacecraft, launch services and major components of the ground segment.

JPSS-1 is being built and integrated at the Ball Aerospace Fisher Integration Facility, Boulder, Colorado.