NOAA operates the following satellites: GOES: 13, 14, 15, 16; Polar: NOAA 15, 18, 19, 20 and Suomi NPP; DMSP 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; Jason 2 and Jason 3; and DSCOVR
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites
Our geostationary operational environmental satellites (GOES) provide consistent and reliable monitoring of the entire Western Hemisphere and are critical for identifying and tracking severe weather, snow storms, tropical cyclones and emergency locator beacons carried by ships, planes, and even hikers.
NOAA currently operates the GOES-13 satellite in the “GOES East” position, GOES-15 in the “GOES West” position, and GOES-14 as an on-orbit back-up.
In addition, NOAA launched its newest GOES satellite -- GOES-16/GOES East -- last November. The first of NOAA's next-generation geostationary weather spacecraft, GOES-16/GOES East will boost the nation’s weather observation network and NOAA’s prediction capabilities, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings.
NOAA-20 is the first satellite launched from the JPSS (short for Joint Polar Satellite System) series of high tech satellites that will keep an eye on the weather and environment. These polar-orbiting satellites will circle the Earth from North Pole to South Pole 14 times each day as the planet spins below. This allows NOAA-20 to see the whole Earth twice every day!
NOAA-20 will help improve the timeliness and accuracy of U.S. weather forecasts three to seven days out. The NOAA-20 satellite carries five instruments that will improve day-to-day weather forecasting while extending the record of many long-term observations of Earth's climate. This substantial collection of data allows us to monitor annual weather patterns like El Niño and La Niña and record temperatures over multiple decades like those in the warming Arctic.
Jason-2 and -3
The Jason-2 and Jason-3 satellites are part of the international Ocean Surface Topography Mission. For over 20 years, these satellites have provided altimetry data to track global sea level rise, one of the main symptoms of climate change, and other climate phenomena such as El Niño.
These data also provide critical information forecasters need to predict devastating hurricanes, severe weather, and surface wave heights that can affect shipping and offshore operations.
We operate Jason-2 and -3 in partnership with NASA, France’s Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).
Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR)
The DSCOVR satellite serves as America’s primary warning system for geomagnetic storms and solar wind data. The satellite gives NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center forecasters measurements of solar wind conditions, helping them monitor and warn of severe and potentially dangerous space weather events.
DSCOVR’s orbit also gives Earth scientists a unique vantage point for studies of the atmosphere and climate, continuously viewing the sunlit side of the planet.
Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)
The DMSP satellites are operate complementary to NOAA’s polar-orbiting satellites. Together, these satellites provide the military with important environmental information used in planning and conducting U.S. military operations worldwide and important weather data used to increase the timeliness and accuracy of weather forecasts around the globe.
DMSP satellites provide critical observations to support NOAA’s three to seven-day operational weather forecasts, operational weather “nowcasting” in Alaska and polar regions, and environmental monitoring and prediction.
NOAA operates the DMSP satellites in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, with NOAA responsible for operating the ground systems development and overseeing the satellites daily operation.
Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES)
For years, NOAA’s POES satellites have provided the backbone of the global observing system. Our current operational POES satellites include NOAA-15, NOAA-18, and NOAA-19. These satellites have been instrumental in the research and development of the JPSS series.
Today, they operate in various primary and secondary roles, providing additional full global data coverage for a broad range of weather and environmental applications, supporting both short-term weather forecasting and long-term climate and environmental data records.