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Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Program Office

Developing the Next Generation of Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites: A Collaborative Effort between NOAA, NASA and Industry Partners

The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the nation’s advanced series of polar-orbiting environmental satellites. Considered the backbone of the global observing system, JPSS satellites circle Earth from pole to pole and cross the equator 14 times dailyproviding full global coverage twice a day.

JPSS satellites provide sophisticated meteorological data and observations of atmosphere, ocean, and land for short-term, seasonal, and long-term monitoring and forecasting. NOAA’s National Weather Service uses this data to increase the accuracy of forecasts three to seven days in advance of a severe weather event. These forecasts allow for early warnings and enable emergency managers to make timely decisions to protect American lives and property, including ordering effective evacuations.

JPSS satellites also provide support for zero- to three-day operational forecasting. JPSS data are particularly important in polar regions where other observational data are sparse. In Alaska, JPSS provides critical data for nearly all of the weather forecasting for aviation, as well as for the economically vital maritime, oil, and gas industries.

As the nation’s polar-orbiting satellite fleet, JPSS also enables scientists and forecasters to study long-term climate trends by extending the more than 30-year satellite data record.

Information from JPSS satellites supports every aspect of NOAA’s mission, ensuring a more “Weather-Ready Nation,” healthy coasts, resilient coastal communities, and adapting and mitigating climate change.

Satellites in the JPSS constellation gather global measurements of conditions in the atmosphere, oceans, and on landincluding temperature, moisture, clouds, rainfall, dense fog, volcanic ash, fire locations, smoke plumes, vegetation, snow and ice cover, and ozone.

 

Satellites

JPSS includes five polar-orbiting satellites with four or more instruments and a versatile ground system. The satellites are the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP), NOAA-20 (previously called JPSS-1), JPSS-2, JPSS-3, and JPSS-4. The ground system, which allows the satellites to communicate their data back to Earth, also supports satellite missions operated by partner organizations, such as the Department of Defense, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The instruments currently flying on board NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP are the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS). JPSS-2 is scheduled to launch in 2022, and JPSS-3 and -4 have anticipated launch dates in 2028 and 2032, respectively.

 

Our Leadership

Gregory Mandt, Joint Polar Satellite System Program Director

Gregory Mandt leads the development, acquisition, integration, installation, and acceptance of major system elements (spacecraft, instruments, launch services, and ground systems) for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program and satellites. Before coming to JPSS, he served as System Program Director for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) program for nine years, culminating in the successful launch of the GOES-16 satellite in November 2016.

Previously, Mandt served as Director of the National Weather Service (NWS) Office of Science and Technology, where he was responsible for science and engineering planning, the acquisition and refresh of critical technologies, and the scientific developments of the Meteorological Development Laboratory. Also, he was the Program Manager and Lead Engineer for the NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) Program from 1992 to 1996.

Additionally, Mandt served as an officer in the United States Air Force for 14 years, where he held several managerial and executive-level positions. He holds Master of Science degrees in Systems Engineering and Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. Also, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Air Force Academy and is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College Program Management Course

Roger Clason, NASA Deputy Program Director

Roger Clason, the NASA deputy program director for JPSS, has worked at NASA since 1990 and has more than 30 years of experience in project/program management and information technology. In this role, he collaborates with the JPSS director in every aspect of the program to ensure its successful implementation.

He most recently served as NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s deputy chief information officer and deputy director of the IT and Communications Directorate. Roger has held various diverse positions in Goddard’s Flight Projects and Programs Directorate, including project manager of the Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) mission. He also served in roles within the Space Communications Division as associate program manager and was the Ground Network project manager. Roger has received numerous NASA recognitions and has established productive working relationships with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and partners including individuals representing all directorates and levels at NASA Goddard and HQ, other NASA centers and other government agencies, NASA’s international partners, and the domestic and international commercial space sector.

Roger earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also holds a Federal Acquisition Certification for Program/Project Managers.

John Longenecker, Deputy Program Manager for Program Planning and Control

John Longenecker has been with NOAA since 1992, when he joined the NOAA Corps from the U.S. Navy. After retiring in 2012 with more than 29 years of active duty in the uniformed service, Longenecker took a civilian job with the Office of Program Planning and Integration, serving as Chief of Staff. Within a year, he was asked to assume the role of Acting Chief Financial Officer of the National Weather Service, and his understanding of appropriation law and financial management was deemed an asset to the agency.

Prior to assuming the duties at JPSS, Longenecker was the Chief of the Budget Execution and Operations Division for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. In this role, he managed the execution of more than $6 billion across all NOAA offices. He is the proud recipient of two NOAA Administrator Awards.

Longenecker holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University and masters certificates from George Washington University in Project Management and Government Contracting.

Satya Kalluri, JPSS Program Science Advisor

Satya Kalluri is serving on detail as the JPSS Program Science Advisor, providing critical support to the JPSS mission by leading the NOAA science team, guiding JPSS in the definition of low-Earth orbiting science objectives, and serving as a spokesperson for the program within the science community.

Kalluri has more than 25 years of experience in academia, industry, federally funded research and development centers, and the government, in developing remote sensing algorithms, applications and complex satellite ground systems for Earth science missions at NOAA and NASA. Kalluri received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1994. He led several projects at UMD while working as an assistant research scientist, including the NOAA-NASA AVHRR Pathfinder program and the NASA Landsat GeoCover project. Kalluri was the products and algorithms lead for NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R Series program from 2007 to 2015, where he managed the development of product generation and distribution system for the mission. He joined the NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) as the Chief of the Cooperative Research Programs Division in 2015. He has served as Chief of the Satellite Meteorology and Climatology Division since March 2018, where he oversees science support for JPSS, GOES-R, and multiple other non-NOAA satellite programs.

Heather Kilcoyne, JPSS Ground Segment Project Manager

Heather Kilcoyne currently serves as the Ground Segment Project Manager for JPSS. In this role, 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.

She 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.

Kilcoyne 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, Kilcoyne 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.

Kilcoyne 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.

Keith Walyus, JPSS Flight Project Manager

In his role, Keith Walyus is responsible for the development and launch of JPSS-2 through -4. The first JPSS satellite, now called NOAA-20, launched successfully in 2017 and is fully operational in orbit. JPSS-2 is scheduled to launch in 2022.  

Walyus joined the JPSS Program in 2019. He has worked at NASA for 35 years and at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, since 1994. He began his NASA career at Johnson Space Center in Houston as a Space Shuttle Descent Design Engineer.

Walyus went on to serve as the Project Operations Director for the Solar and Heliophysics Observatory, before serving as the Servicing Mission Operations Manager on the Hubble Space Telescope’s Servicing Mission 4.

Most recently before coming to JPSS, Walyus served as the Deputy Project Manager for the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) Lidar and the Project Manager for the International Space Station Transient Astrophysics Observatory (ISS-TAO) Step 2 Proposal.

Walyus holds a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston in Texas.

José Davis, Integrated NOAA/NASA Program Systems Engineering Manager

José Davis has overall responsibility for managing the integrated NOAA-NASA Program Systems Engineering (PSE) team. In this role, he has end-to-end responsibility for requirements and performance of the entire JPSS, ensuring the integrity of the technical baseline, which includes concepts of operation, architecture, external interfaces and requirements. He joined NOAA in 2012, after 29 years with NASA.

Davis served as Lead for Engineering Standards and Processes in the Chief Engineer’s Office of the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), supporting the Chief Engineer and serving as point of contact for selected programs and projects within the Agency and at GRC. He was a member of the 2006 –2007 class of the NASA Leadership Development Program (LDP), completing assignments at NASA Headquarters as a Senior Safety Manager in the Mission Support Division of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. In this role, he supported both the Constellation and Space Shuttle Programs; and served as a Senior Engineer in the Advanced Planning and Analysis Division of the Office of the Chief Engineer. Throughout his career, Davis has served as a project engineer, supervisor, team lead, project manager, and systems engineer.

Davis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, and Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Industrial Engineering from Cleveland State University. He has also attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Brookings Institution. He has received several NASA individual and team awards

 

Divisions

The Joint Polar Satellite System program consists of two projects supporting the new generation of polar-orbiting operational environmental satellites.

JPSS Flight Project

The Flight project designs, builds, tests, and launches satellites in the JPSS system. Between 2011 and 2032, this project will launch five satellites: Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, the technology demonstration for JPSS, launched in 2011; JPSS-1, now called NOAA-20, launched in 2017; JPSS-2; JPSS-3; and JPSS-4. These satellites carry four or more instruments that gather global measurements of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions, including sea and land surface temperatures, vegetation, clouds, rainfall, snow and ice cover, fire locations and smoke plumes, atmospheric temperature, water vapor and ozone. 

JPSS delivers key observations for the nation's essential products and services, including forecasting severe weather like hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards days in advance, and assessing environmental hazards such as droughts, forest fires, poor air quality and harmful coastal waters. Further, JPSS will provide continuity of critical, global observations of Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land through 2038.

JPSS Ground Project

The Ground project maintains a modern ground system to support Suomi NPP, NOAA-20 and a diverse set of low Earth-orbiting satellites used for operational weather forecasting, environmental monitoring and climate research. Developed by NASA on behalf of NOAA, the JPSS Ground System features high data capacity, low data latency, improved data quality and high operational availability to meet the nation’s critical needs for accurate and timely weather forecasting. It is designed to provide satellite constellation management, mission planning and scheduling, satellite command and control, data acquisition, data routing, data processing, product generation and distribution and system sustainment services. In addition, the JPSS Ground System provides instrument and data product calibration and validation functions and supports field terminal users with software, documentation, and operations support data. 

The data products produced by the JPSS Ground System include detailed cloud coverage, atmospheric temperature and pressure, ozone distribution, as well as snow cover, vegetation, aerosols, and Earth radiation budget information. This wealth of information enables numerous users to monitor and predict changes in weather, climate and ocean conditions.

 

Partners

The JPSS program works closely with both national and international partners to facilitate effective collaborations to make JPSS data readily available to support weather operations and long-term research, as well as to ensure that partners are prepared to utilize that data.

JPSS engages with partners in all facets of the program, including scientific research, user requirement reviews, and through operational and research distribution. JPSS also regularly interacts with its partners at scientific conferences and through program outreach efforts. In interactions with NOAA operational users, JPSS learns and understands their requirements, allowing JPSS to provide satellite products that meet those operational needs and support real-time weather operations.

The JPSS program also works closely with other users within the federal government and the international user community. The program assists in applying scientific research to ensure that the data and products are of the highest quality. The program is also positioned to leverage continuing work from the NOAA research agencies and other national research organizations as well as the NOAA Cooperative Institutes.

JPSS's Direct Broadcast partners have become a critical part of the program's success. This partnership ensures that antennas and algorithms are available to provide critical data quickly to data-sparse areas of the globe.

JPSS data is critical to protecting U.S. lives and property and the program is committed to providing this vital data to help minimize the impacts of weather and environmental hazards.

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