What is NPOESS?
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) is the next generation of low earth orbiting environmental satellites. The NPOESS will circle the Earth approximately once every 100 minutes. During these rotations, the NPOESS will be providing global coverage, monitoring environmental conditions, collecting, disseminating and processing data about the Earth's weather, atmosphere, oceans, land, and near-space environment.
The NPOESS system will be able to monitor the entire planet and provide data for long-range weather and climate forecasts. The data gathered by the NPOESS will aid in reducing the potential loss of human life and property by allowing more efficient disaster planning and response to severe weather conditions such as tornadoes and floods.
Citizens will benefit from the satellite's data in the areas of general aviation, agriculture, and maritime activities. Military users will benefit from the NPOESS as well, tactically and strategically. The NPOESS will permit the military to capitalize on favorable weather conditions or avoid harsh weather conditions that could hinder maneuverability.
The NPOESS will collect a massive amount of very precise earth surface, atmospheric and space environmental measurements from a variety of on-board sensors. This volume of data will allow scientists and forecasters to monitor and predict weather patterns with greater speed and accuracy.