The JPSS Mission

The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the Nation's next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system, procured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). JPSS will provide continuity of critical observations for accurate weather forecasting, reliable severe storm outlooks, global measurements of atmospheric and oceanic conditions such as sea surface temperatures, ozone, and more. JPSS will also monitor rescue beacons to help save lives through the international SARSAT program and continue support for the French provided Advanced Data Collection System (ADCS).

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advances in environmental monitoring and will help advance environmental, weather, climate, and oceanographic science. JPSS's primary user, NOAA's National Weather Service, will use the JPSS data in models for medium- and long-term weather forecasting. JPSS will allow scientists and forecasters to monitor and predict weather patterns with greater speed and accuracy and is key for continuity of long-standing climate measurements, allowing study of long-term climate trends. JPSS will improve and extend climate measurements for 30 different Environmental Data Records of the atmosphere, land, ocean, climate, and space environment.

Spacecraft and Payload

JPSS will provide operational continuity of satellite-based observations and products for NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) mission. The first JPSS spacecraft, JPSS-1, will take advantage of technologies developed through the Suomi NPP satellite which was launched on October 28, 2011. The JPSS payload of Scientific Instruments includes:

  • Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)
  • Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS)
  • Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS)
  • Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite –Nadir (OMPS-Nadir)
  • Cloud and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES)
  • Total Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS)


In addition to its scientific instruments, JPSS also integrates sensors from NOAA Climate Sensor Program and data communications packages (ADCS and SARSAT).

NOAA Satellites

NOAA weather satellites have provided US Citizens with advance warning of extreme weather for over 50 years. Satellites are vital for the weather forecasts NOAA provides to the American public, farmers, Federal, State, and Local Government agencies, businesses, and emergency managers. The frequency and severity of the extreme weather events as recent as 2011 serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining all the critical tools necessary for accurate weather forecasting, including these observations provided by satellites

NOAA operates satellites in two complementary orbits: Geostationary satellites, which constantly monitor a fixed area on the Earth from a perch over 22,000 miles above the Earth; and Polar-Orbiting satellites, which circle the Earth around 500 miles above the surface providing information and observations over the entire Earth - land, ocean and atmosphere, from pole to pole.

Example Product Yields

  • Ozone hole measured bu AURA OMS

    Images, from the Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System, CERES instrument, flying on the Suomi NPP satellite shows Earth's "radiation budget," the difference between incoming and outgoing solar energy. Cloud cover reflects incoming solar energy back to space (right image) while reducing the amount of outgoing heat lost to space (left image). Scientists will use this data to understand the role clouds and energy play in global climate change. [click to enlarge]

  • Ozone hole measured bu AURA OMS

    Ozone in the stratosphere blocks dangerous ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer, sunburn, and other health problems. This image shows the monthly-averaged total ozone over the Antarctic pole as measured by the AURA satellite's OMI. The blue and purple colors are where there is the least ozone; the yellows and reds, where there is more. JPSS OMPS will extend the 30-plus year total-ozone and ozone-profile records with higher fidelity. [click to enlarge]

  • Global Images of Hurricane Irene generated via VIIRs

    As seen in this image of Hurricane Irene, VIIRS will provide highly detailed imagery of global storm patterns. VIIRS' multi-band imaging capabilities also support the acquisition of high-resolution atmospheric imagery for a variety of other products including detection of fires, smoke, and atmospheric aerosols with nighttime applications as well. [click to enlarge]

  • Global patterns of atmospheric humidity from NASA AIRS

    CrIS and ATMS will improve in the ability to detect subtle differences in atmospheric humidity at multiple layers in the atmosphere, a key component of accurate weather predictions. Global patterns of atmospheric humidity are shown here in this data from NASA's AIRS instrument, the predecessor to CrIS. [click to enlarge]

Benefits of JPSS Science

Keeping our citizens safe from extreme weather events through storm tracking, enhanced weather prediction capabilities, and long-term climate monitoring is the cornerstone of the JPSS mission. The environmental monitoring which JPSS's new instruments will provide will advance weather forecasting and environmental prediction in many sectors, improving the ability of the public, government, first responders, and businesses to plan for the future. Just a few of the many benefits of science JPSS will produce on a daily basis include early warning of hazardous weather conditions, enhanced weather prediction capabilities to enable advanced planning by government and industry for extreme weather events, and real-time storm tracking to provide airline pilots with the most current and accurate weather information available to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew.

JPSS visaul timelne from 1995 to 2018
  • Next Generation Joint Polar Satellite Mission Concept-1995
  • NPOESS Mission-1998
  • NPOESS Transition to JPSS Mission-2010
  • NPP Launch-OCtober 2011
  • JPSS-1 Launch-2016
  • JPSS-2 Launch-2018

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional