BOULDER, Colo., July 10, 2014—The Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy Systems (CERES) instrument for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), the nation’s next generation polar-orbiting satellite, arrived at Ball on Tuesday, June 17. Integration of the JPSS-1 satellite will begin later this year. The CERES instrument is key to the continuity of long-standing weather and climate measurements currently provided by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership mission launched in 2011.
The JPSS-1 satellite bus is on track for completion this fall, with instrument integration set to begin later this year.
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). The observations from CERES are essential to understanding the effect of clouds on the energy balance (energy coming in from the sun and radiating out from the earth), which is one of the largest sources of uncertainty in climate. Long-term satellite data from CERES will help scientists and researchers understand incoming and outgoing links between the Earth’s energy balance and the role played by the atmosphere. Data from CERES will also improve observations of seasonal climate forecasts, including large-scale events like El Nino and La Nina.
The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir (OMPS-N), built by Ball Aerospace in Boulder has passed its pre-ship review and will be “shipped in place” to the JPSS program. OMPS 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. Data from OMPS continues three decades of total ozone measurements.
The three additional JPSS-1 instruments expected to arrive over the next 10 months include:
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.
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