On Nov. 18, 2017, the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, the first in a new series of four highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The satellite’s next-generation technology will help improve the timeliness and accuracy of U.S. weather forecasts three to seven days out.
“The value of the new JPSS satellite cannot be understated after this tragic hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “JPSS offers an unparalleled perspective on our planet’s weather, granting NOAA advanced insights which will be used to guard American lives and communities.”
JPSS-1 will be renamed NOAA-20 when it reaches its final orbit. Scientists and forecasters will be able to use the satellite’s data officially after its five advanced instruments, all significantly upgraded from those on NOAA’s previous polar-orbiting satellites, complete three months of tests. The satellite is designed to operate for seven years, with the potential for several more years.
“This year’s hurricane and fire seasons demonstrated just how critical NOAA’s Earth observing satellites are for forecasting extreme weather and hazardous events,” said Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., acting NOAA Administrator. “JPSS joins the recently launched GOES-16 satellite to provide forecasters unprecedented access to high-quality data needed for accurate forecasts, which save lives, protect property and safeguard our economic livelihood.”