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Heather Kilcoyne

JPSS Ground Segment Project Manager
Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Program Office
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Heather Kilcoyne is the Ground Segment Project Manager for JPSS. She is responsible for the maintenance and sustainment of the acquisition, routing and processing of the JPSS mission data from the receipt of the data at the polar ground stations through the production of the data products used by the National Weather Service and other mission partners and customers for weather forecasting and climate studies.

Heather served as the deputy project manager from June 2015 to July 2018 and transitioned to the role of project manager when the management of the ground project transitioned from NASA to NOAA in August 2018.

She began her career with NOAA as a contractor serving on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), the predecessor to the JPSS program, in 1997. She supported various proposal efforts for the program, as well as developing and testing algorithms for the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument, which is still included on JPSS satellites today. She went on to become the calibration/validation lead for the NPOESS Data Products Division, leading the development of the Suomi-NPP calibration and validation program.

After the end of NPOESS, Heather served in roles of increasing responsibility on the JPSS project, including data products and algorithms integrated product team lead and deputy mission systems engineer for integration and test.

Heather served as the Product Algorithm Operations Lead for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R Series Ground Project. She established an algorithm change process to efficiently incorporate corrections and technology improvements into the operational software. She provided insight into the science community and their current processes to the development of the NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service’s Office of Systems Architecture and Advanced Planning.

Kilcoyne has a master’s degree in meteorology and a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.