National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)


GeoXO Program Approved to Begin Concept and Technology Development

July 23, 2021

The Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) Program was formally approved to begin the technology and development phase of the mission – Phase A – on July 21, 2021. The joint NOAA/NASA Agency Program Management Council affirmed the program addresses a critical need and the proposed mission concept is feasible. During Phase A, the GeoXO Program will develop the final mission concept, system-level requirements, necessary system technology developments, and program/project technical management plans.

The GeoXO satellite system will advance Earth observations from geostationary orbit. GeoXO will supply vital information to address major environmental challenges of the future in support of U.S. weather, ocean and climate operations. The GeoXO mission will continue and expand observations provided by the current GOES-R Series satellites. GeoXO is planned for operation in the 2030s.


NOAA Gives Update on GOES-17

July 23, 2021

NOAA’s GOES-17 is out of safe-hold mode and engineers expect its six instruments to return to normal operations soon. The probable cause of yesterday’s anomaly appears to be a memory bit error in the spacecraft computer. The engineering team says the computer has been responding correctly to commands. 

Earlier this morning, the Advanced Baseline Imager and Magnetometer were restored and data are flowing. The remaining four instruments are expected to come online later this morning.  The team expects some minor, short-term data quality issues while the instruments are being recalibrated, but GOES-17 is on track for a full recovery with no lasting effects to the satellite.

NOAA will provide an update as new information becomes available.



NOAA Statement on GOES-17 Outage

July 22, 2021

A team of experts is working tirelessly to restore operations to NOAA’s GOES-17 satellite, after an on-board computer reset triggered the satellite to be placed into a safe-hold mode at 1:37 a.m. ET today.  In this phase, all of GOES-17’s instruments were automatically turned off.  

The engineering team is currently conducting the recovery process.  The next step is instrument reactivation and validation of the sensors. Once those are completed, the team will proceed with reinitiation of the data streams. 

The GOES-15 satellite is available as a backup if GOES-17 cannot be restored in a timely manner. 

NOAA will provide an update as new information becomes available.


Space and numerical weather prediction get a boost thanks to COSMIC-2 software update

June 30, 2021

Thanks to a software update, COSMIC-2 is gathering more data than ever since mission start. This increase in data is expected to reduce forecast errors in the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) system.

COSMIC-2 collects information on atmospheric conditions, including temperature, pressure, density, and water vapor content, known as soundings. Together, this information provides vital data that are widely used, not only in numerical weather predictions, but also in climate research and meteorological studies.

The primary purpose of the update was to increase observations of the ionosphere (a layer of Earth’s atmosphere that extends roughly 50 to 600 miles above Earth’s surface.) This will help NOAA better predict the impact of ionospheric electrons on operations and daily life.  The update to the six-satellite constellation took roughly 2 months and included fixing software bugs and troubleshooting. 

Though the update has dramatically improved the performance of COSMIC-2, it is not the end for the program! We have at least two more major software updates planned to improve its capabilities even further. The first, occurring by August, is designed to further increase the number of ionospheric data the mission collects. The second update, expected in Fall of 2021, allows COSMIC-2 to make observations using a third GNSS constellation, Europe's Galileo mission (GNSS is a similar system to our GPS satellites.) This update is expected to improve COSMIC-2's RO measurement performance by an additional 20%, which will mean further gains for weather prediction. 


NOAA announces post-launch plans for GOES-T satellite

June 24, 2021

NOAA’s GOES-T will replace GOES-17 in the GOES West position, following a successful launch and checkout period, top NOAA officials announced today.

The decision to place GOES-T  into operational service as soon as possible after launch is a result of the blockage in the loop heat pipe of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), the key instrument on GOES-17. 

The blockage, which appeared not long after the satellite launched on March 1, 2018, restricted the flow of coolant in the pipes, causing the ABI electronics to overheat and reducing the sensitivity of its infrared sensors. Engineers, however, were able to mitigate the issue and enabled the ABI to deliver more than 98 percent of the data it was designed to provide.

GOES-T, which is the third satellite in NOAA’s advanced GOES-R series, will be renamed GOES-18 once it reaches geostationary orbit.  After it completes checkout of its instruments and systems, the new satellite will go into operation as GOES West and  work in tandem with GOES-16, which operates in the GOES East position. 

From its GOES West perch, 22,236 miles in space, GOES-18 will continue providing high-resolution satellite coverage of storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards that impact the western U.S., Hawaii and Alaska.

The satellite will also continue capturing critical data over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental United States, and monitor tropical cyclones in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii.


NOAA Awards Space Weather Follow On (SWFO) Antenna Network (SAN) Contract

April 30, 2021

NOAA has awarded the Space Weather Follow On (SWFO) Antenna Network (SAN) contract to KBR WYLE TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS, LLC (KBR) in Columbia, Maryland. The cost plus fixed-fee contract has a total value of $51,217,249, with a five-year performance period. KBR will be responsible for providing an antenna network and related capabilities within the U.S. and overseas to continuously receive mission data from the SWFO-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1) observatory and to support SWFO-L1 observatory operations by providing telemetry, command, and ranging services.

KBR will perform the work at their facilities in Greenbelt, Maryland in addition to the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Suitland, Maryland. KBR WYLE TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS, LLC will also install a 13 meter antenna at NOAA’s Wallops Command and Data Acquisition Station located in Wallops, Virginia, and a second 13 meter antenna at the NOAA Consolidated Backup, located in Fairmont, West Virginia.

The SAN is the ground segment that provides vital communications with the SWFO-L1 observatory. The SAN is being designed, developed, and tested to support the launch and operations of the SWFO-L1 spacecraft, as a rideshare on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe mission, currently scheduled for February 2025. 

NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS) provides space weather observations to the NOAA National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center located in Boulder, Colorado. The SWFO-L1 observatory will continue to provide continuous measurements of the space environment, including observations of the Sun’s outer atmosphere, and contributing to accurate forecasts of space weather disturbances.

NESDIS is responsible for the oversight and management of the SWFO Program, a parent program to the SWFO-L1 Observatory Mission, at its Greenbelt and Silver Spring, Maryland offices. 


NOAA Awards Six NCEI Regional Climate Centers Services Contract Awards

April 9, 2021

On April 7 and 8, 2021, NOAA awarded six indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts for the six Regional Climate Centers (RCC). One IDIQ contract was awarded per RCC region. The combined maximum value of the six IDIQs totals $49,999,800. Each IDIQ has a base period of 12 months, with four 12-month option periods, beginning on April 17, 2021. 

In conjunction with the newly announced IDIQ awards, NOAA awarded the first six Core RCC Services Task Orders (Task Order). One Task Order was issued per region. The total value of the Task Orders for all six regions is $20,092,766. The period of performance for each Task Order is 12 months, with four 12 month option periods, beginning on April 17, 2021. The prices for the Task Orders are based upon the Fiscal Year 2020 funding levels for the RCC Program. Any additional funding will be allocated to the RCCs through separate task orders.  

The six awardees are as follows:

Regional Climate Center Awardee Total Price for Core RCC Services Task Orders
High Plains RCC
serving ND, SD, NE, KS, CO, WY
Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska
Midwestern RCC
serving KY, IN, MI, IL, WI, MO, IA, MN, OH
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
Northeast RCC
serving ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, WV, DC
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
Southeast RCC
serving VA, NC, SC, GA, AL, FL, PR, USVI
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Southern RCC
serving TN, MS, LA, AR, OK, TX
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
College Station, Texas
Western RCC
serving MT, ID, UT, NM, AZ, NV, CA, OR, WA, AK, HI, US-affiliated Pacific Islands
Nevada System of Higher Education DBA Desert Research Institute
Reno, Nevada
Total   $20,092,766


The maximum value of each RCC’s IDIQ has been set sufficiently high to accommodate a reasonable value of task order requirements. The value is based upon historical requirements per region, and the anticipation of increased support for climate services over the next five years. Funding sources for task orders include both NCEI and other NOAA line offices. The High Plains RCC, Northeast RCC, and Southern RCC receive slightly more funding because they perform national capabilities services above and beyond the core RCC services. The Western RCC receives more funding due to its large geographical scope, which includes Hawaii, Alaska, and the US-affiliated Pacific Islands.

NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) manages the RCC Program.  NCEI is headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina. NCEI’s six RCCs are a key part of NESDIS's Regional Climate Services program. The RCCs are contractor organizations, currently located at universities within the six regions. The RCCs produce and deliver environmental data, products, information, and services, and capture user needs in six distinct regions of the United States, including the contiguous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and territories. By transforming, tailoring, and augmenting NCEI’s products and services, the RCCs provide a bridge between NCEI and regional user communities, including the private sector. They support NOAA’s mission to advance understanding of climate variability and impacts through user engagement and the translation of data into usable products and services for decision makers.


NASA Selects Geostationary and Extended Orbits Imager Phase A Contracts

April 1, 2021

NASA has selected L3Harris Technologies Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Raytheon Company of El Segundo, California, for the Geostationary and Extended Orbits (GEO-XO) Imager (GXI) Phase A Study contracts. The GXI Phase A Study requirement will provide services to help meet the objectives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GEO-XO program.

The total value of each of these one-year firm-fixed price contracts is approximately $6M. The work will be performed at the contractors' facilities in Indiana and California.

The principal purpose of these contracts is to provide a definition-phase study of a geostationary Imager instrument. The Imager will be an infrared and visible imaging instrument that is planned to fly on the NOAA GEO-XO program series of geostationary satellites, with the first launch planned for 2032.

NOAA’s GEO-XO mission is the groundbreaking development of a satellite system that will advance Earth observations from geostationary orbit. The mission will supply vital information to address major environmental challenges of the future in support of weather, ocean, and climate operations in the United States. The GEO-XO system will continue and expand observations provided by the GOES-R series of satellites. GEO-XO will bring new capabilities to address emerging environmental issues and challenges that threaten the security and well-being of every American. NOAA is working to ensure these critical observations are in place by the early 2030s, as the GOES-R Series nears the end of its operational lifetime.

The GEO-XO program is a collaborative partnership between NASA and NOAA. NOAA funds, operates, and manages the program, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, develops and acquires the mission system including management of the acquisition of the Phase A formulation contracts.

For more information about the GEO-XO mission, visit:


NOAA hosts 8th annual International Radio Occultation Working Group meeting

March 24, 2021

On April 7-9 and 12-13, NOAA will host the 8th International Radio Occultation Working Group (IROWG) meeting. The IROWG is one of five international science working groups of the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites, a global effort to organize the operation and use of meteorological satellite systems. The IROWG fosters expert consensus around the future direction of radio occultation technology, which uses atmospheric sensing to generate data on atmospheric conditions. This data has a wide variety of applications for numerical weather prediction, climate, missions and technology, and space weather.

At the April meeting, radio occultation experts from across the public, private, and academic sectors will convene with data users to discuss the latest scientific, technical, and programmatic developments in the area. The meeting will feature new results from the assimilation of data collected by the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-2) satellite system, which is just reaching full operational capability. An additional highlight will include the operational value of data sourced from the commercial sector, such as NOAA’s recent Commercial Weather Data buy

Through its experts in NESDIS, NOAA is proud to lead the U.S. Federal Government’s international/interagency COSMIC-2 partnership with the National Space Organization of Taiwan and to support commercial radio occultation data purchases. Both COSMIC-2 and commercial data sources are already making a positive impact on global forecasting efforts. NOAA looks forward to sharing results from the COSMIC-2 mission and its experience using commercial weather data. A slimmed-down virtual April session will be followed by a second meeting in September. For more information, please visit the IROWG-8 website or contact Richard Ullman (


Arctic ground stations


In a First for NESDIS, JPSS Ground Program Moves its Data to the Cloud

March 1, 2021

Arctic ground stations
One of the JPSS program’s system of ground stations is located in Norway’s remote Svalbard islands. Antennas at the station here collect data from satellites as they fly over the North Pole. Image by KSAT.

This month, NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System shifted part of its operational data processing ground system to cloud computing. This makes the program the first of NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) major ground systems to make this transition.

This new system will replace “racks and racks of computers” at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility, or NSOF, in Suitland, Md.  In the previous system, raw data collected from the satellite instruments and received through a system of antennas was then consolidated at NSOF, where it was processed into data products that are used by scientists and assimilated into weather prediction models. 

Now, data will instead be processed in the Amazon Web Services GovCloud. The transition has reduced the JPSS footprint of hardware at NSOF and the NOAA Consolidated Back-Up (CBU) facility in West Virginia by 40 percent, said Heather Kilcoyne, JPSS Ground Segment Project Manager.

Each day, the JPSS satellites receive about 400 gigabytes and deliver more than seven terabytes of data to customers. 

For NESDIS, this marks the first time the agency has taken a mission operations function at a high security level, and moved it to the cloud, said Irene Parker, Chief Information Officer for NESDIS. “That’s huge for us,” she said.

And the move had to be done without any impact to availability or integrity, Parker said. “It can’t ever go down, and we have to ensure our data stream is accurate, because if it’s not accurate, lives and property can be damaged.”  The transition, she added, “has been seamless to the user community. That was one of the key goals.” 

This move by JPSS is the first step in a bigger vision for NESDIS, which plans to shift the bulk of its ground systems to cloud computing. That will include data processing, distribution and archive of ground operations—nearly all but the actual commanding of the satellites.

The move to cloud has a number of benefits. Among them, significant long-term cost savings, flexibility to upgrade and faster deployment for science products, Kilcoyne said.

“We want to invest in mission capabilities rather than hardware,” she said. “And if we discover something new and find a better way to create one of our data products, deployment is easier in the cloud. You don’t have to physically install new hardware on the system and make sure it’s running correctly, you just start a parallel set of cloud services, deploy the updated software, and start testing.”

The transition was not without its challenges. The program was in a race to complete all testing, verification, and security measures on a tight two-year deadline, before the existing hardware, which was nearing the end of its lifetime, stopped working. Learning to use new technology and finding the best tools for the system without sacrificing processing speed or security meant a steep learning curve for the engineers on the 120-member team.

“Everybody worked extremely hard on this,” said Marge Ripley, the data product management and services lead for JPSS.  “It took lots of long hours to pull it off.  But we had a team that was willing to learn in order to pave the way.”

A collaboration between NOAA and NASA, JPSS is the United States’ most advanced series of polar-orbiting environmental satellites. It provides significant technological and scientific advancements for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. These data are critical to the timeliness and accuracy of forecasts three to seven days in advance of a severe weather event.


NOAA Awards Second Delivery Order for Commercial Radio Occultation Data

February 19, 2021

On February 19, 2021, NOAA awarded Delivery Order 2 (DO-2) under its existing Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts for radio occultation (RO) data to GeoOptics.

Through DO-2, NOAA will purchase 1300 occultations per day for six months from March to September, with a license to share the data with U.S. government agencies immediately upon receipt and to share on a full and open basis after 24 hours. Following verification of data and system readiness, NOAA plans to begin incorporating commercial RO data into operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) models in May.

Under DO-1, awarded in November 2020, NOAA purchased 500 occultations per day for 30 days from GeoOptics and Spire Global. NOAA successfully used the DO-1 data to verify data quality and formats and to conduct an end-to-end test flow of data through NOAA’s ingest, distribution, and archive systems and into NWP models.

Subsequent Delivery Orders will be released throughout the two-year IDIQ contract period at NOAA’s discretion, to continue the flow of commercial RO data into NOAA’s NWP models.

Ongoing updates on NOAA’s Commercial Weather Data Pilot and operational Commercial Data Purchases can be found here



NOAA Awards First Commercial RO Contracts Supporting Operational Weather Forecasting

November 20, 2020

On Friday, November 20, 2020, NOAA awarded its first contracts to purchase commercially available space-based radio occultation (RO) data for use in NOAA’s operational weather forecasts. The two-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, with a total contract ceiling of $23 million, went to the U.S. commercial space firms GeoOptics and Spire Global.

Under the overall IDIQ contracts, NOAA also awarded initial Delivery Orders for this RO data to both companies. Subsequent Delivery Orders will be released throughout the two-year contract period at NOAA’s discretion. 

This contracting action is a part of NOAA’s continuing efforts to meet the nation’s weather and environmental monitoring needs in a flexible and cost-effective manner, and the next step in implementing the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-25), which directs NOAA to obtain commercial weather data from private sector providers following a pilot assessment that demonstrates commercial sector readiness. NOAA has requested $23 million in FY 2021 to support Commercial Data Purchase and future Commercial Weather Data Pilots to investigate new commercial space technologies beyond radio occultation.

Ongoing updates on NOAA’s Commercial Weather Data Pilot and operational Commercial Data Purchases can be found here.  


NOAA Going Back to the Future ⁠— Again 

October 7, 2019

NOAA issued two Broad Agency Announcements, or BAAs, seeking fresh ideas for new instrument technologies and concepts for future use on its advanced  geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites.

These BAAs follow the NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture (NSOSA) study completed last year, and are the next step toward developing NOAA's next-generation architecture. The optimal constellations drawn from the NSOSA study incorporate both the augmentation and new business models we seek in LEO, and the new concepts we seek in GEO, as part of enhancing our capabilities.

For the polar satellites, NOAA is looking for new ways to supplement observations for its Joint Polar Satellite System, JPSS. NOAA's previous generation of polar satellites and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program still provide useful data, but are approaching the end of their operational service.

The polar BAA is focused on soundings in Low Earth Orbit but this is just one step in a broader effort by NOAA to develop a comprehensive  LEO architecture. Consistent with the availability of funds, NOAA will release additional requests for methods and concepts in the near future.

As it relates to the advanced GOES-R Program satellites, NOAA will need new technologies by 2030 to continue monitoring both environmental and space weather.

Based on feedback to the BAAs, NOAA could have a range of new, less costly options to pursue, including placing instruments on small satellites, or launching them as hosted payloads. 

Following the release of the BAAs and two industry days (Oct. 17–18), NOAA will choose the best proposals to pursue. 

Members of the news media may contact NESDIS by reaching out to Public Affairs Officer, John Leslie, at:

Phone: 301-713-0214 

NOAA Selects New Systems Lead for its Satellite and Information Service

September 26, 2019

Dr. Karen St. Germain

NOAA today announced Dr. Karen St. Germain, an accomplished remote sensing engineer and long-time leader in the development of federal space programs, will assume the duties of Deputy Assistant Administrator for Systems for its Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS).

In her new position, St. Germain will guide the ongoing development and deployment of NOAA’s two major satellite programs (the Joint Polar Satellite System and Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite-R series), the COSMIC-2 mission, which launched earlier this year and the upcoming Space Weather Follow-On. She will also lead the development of the next-generation capabilities that will replenish and augment these systems in the future.

In her former position as director of the NESDIS Office of Systems Architecture and Advanced Planning, St. Germain led the team that planned NOAA’s future Earth observation systems, focusing on a future architecture that is more flexible, stable and responsive.

“Karen’s skillset in strategic planning and leading complex, multi-organizational space programs of major significance are a major benefit to NOAA,” said Steve Volz, Ph.D., assistant NOAA administrator for NESDIS. “She has demonstrated success in acquiring and transitioning new technology into operational systems, which will be particularly useful for NOAA and NESDIS as we move forward with our new observing systems.”

"I am deeply committed to this mission and it is a privilege to serve the public in this role. There is no more exciting time to be involved in Earth observations than right now, with the pace of innovation and the growing interest in observation data," St. Germain said. "We have a mission-dedicated team at NESDIS, focused on what we need to do in flight and on the ground protect to lives and strengthen the economy through better forecasts and warnings. I'm honored to be part of that team."

In her previous roles at NOAA, St. Germain led all aspects of system performance during the development of the successful NOAA-NASA Suomi-NPP satellite from 2006 to 2011. In 2011, she began working at the U.S. Department of Defense, in the Space, Strategic and Intelligence Systems Office, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. She was responsible for the acquisition oversight of DoD’s strategic missile warning and space-based environmental monitoring portfolio and she led the Conventional Prompt Global Strike Program.

Before joining NOAA, St. Germain had a successful research career at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Nebraska and the Naval Research Laboratory. She has performed research aboard ice-breakers in the Arctic and Antarctic, flown through hurricanes and tropical storms on NOAA’s P-3 airplanes and measured glacial ice on a snowmobile traverse of the Greenland ice sheet. 

St. Germain holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Union College (1987) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts (1993).  She is also a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College, National Defense University, where she earned a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy in 2013.

2019 Joint Satellite Conference

September 20, 2019



It has been the practice of the AMS Satellite Meteorology, Oceanography, and Climatology (SatMetOC) Committee and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) to hold a joint international conference approximately every six years, most recently in Vienna (2013), and previously in Amsterdam (2007) and Paris (1998). This year we are joined by the 2019 NOAA Satellite Conference—the first time our three conferences have been held together making this one of the most important satellite remote sensing conferences of the year.

Learn more about the Joint Satellite Conference



Members of the news media may contact NESDIS by reaching out to our Public Affairs Officers, John Leslie and John Bateman at:

John Leslie: 301-713-0214
John Bateman: 301-713-9604

NOAA Gives Update on GOES-17 ABI

July 24, 2018

A photo of the GOES-17 ABI Instrument

Top officials from NOAA's Satellite and Information Service and National Weather Service today spoke with media about the status of the GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), the satellite's primary instrument. 

The ABI has experienced technical issues with its cooling system during the orbital check-out phase of GOES-17's six instruments -- the other five are performing normally. The cooling system is a significant part of the ABI and did not start up properly.

This fact sheet (PDF) explains more about the loop heat pipe issue.

Click below to hear the audio of the press briefing, which features:

Dr. Steve Volz, director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service, Pam Sullivan, director of the GOES-R System Program and Joe Pica, director of the Office of Observations for NOAA's National Weather Service.  

Click here to listen to the audio from the July 24, 2018 GOES-17 ABI media call.

Members of the news media may contact NESDIS by reaching out to our Public Affairs Officer,  John Leslie at:

Phone: 301-713-0214

New, Next-Generation NOAA Polar-Orbiting Satellite is Now Operational

May 30, 2018

Image of the JPSS-1 Satellite in Space

Advanced data will detect environmental hazards, improve weather forecasts. Weather forecasters officially have a new tool in their arsenal, as the first satellite in NOAA’s new Joint Polar Satellite System has passed rigorous testing and is now operational. 

Launched last November as JPSS-1 and renamed NOAA-20 once it reached orbit, the satellite features the latest and best technology NOAA has ever flown in a polar orbit to capture more precise observations of the world’s atmosphere, land and waters. Data from the satellite’s advanced instruments will help improve the accuracy of 3-to-7 day forecasts.

“Improved weather forecasts can save lives, protect property and provide businesses and communities valuable additional time to prepare in advance of dangerous weather events,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.  

NOAA-20 provides NOAA’s National Weather Service with global data for numerical weather prediction models used to develop timely and accurate U.S. weather forecasts. In addition, high-resolution imagery from the satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, known as VIIRS, will enable the satellite to detect fog, sea-ice formation and breaking in the Arctic, volcanic eruptions and wildfires in their very early stages. This advanced modeling and imagery information, shared with international and governmental partners, will help businesses, the emergency preparedness and response communities and individuals make the best decisions possible in the face of weather-related hazards.  

NOAA-20 joins Suomi NPP – the NOAA-NASA demonstration satellite launched in 2011 – giving the U.S. the benefit of two sophisticated spacecraft in nearly the same orbit. Each circles the Earth in a polar orbit 14 times a day, collecting global observations that form the basis for U.S. weather prediction.

“NOAA-20 is especially beneficial for tracking developing storms in the Arctic, Alaska and Antarctica. Forecasts for these remote regions are critical for the U.S. fishing, energy, transportation and recreation industries, which operate in some of the harshest conditions on the planet,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction.

JPSS-2, the second in the series, is scheduled to be launched in 2021, followed by JPSS-3 in 2026 and JPSS-4 in 2031. JPSS satellites are designed to operate for seven years, with the potential for several more years. The JPSS mission will deliver its critical data and information for at least the next two decades to support a Weather-Ready Nation

Press Contact: 

John Leslie,, 301-713-0214

Maureen O’Leary,, 301-713-9000 

Scientists Investigate GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager Performance Issue

May 23, 2018

A photo of the GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI)​ Instrument

The GOES-R Program is currently addressing a performance issue with the cooling system encountered during commissioning of the GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.  The cooling system is an integral part of the ABI and did not start up properly during the on-orbit checkout. 

A team of experts from NOAA, NASA, the ABI contractor team and industry are investigating the issue and pursuing multiple courses of possible corrective actions. The issue affects the infrared and near-infrared channels on the instrument. The visible channels of the ABI are not impacted.

NOAA’s operational geostationary constellation -- GOES-16, operating as GOES-East, GOES-15, operating as GOES-West and GOES-14, operating as the on-orbit spare -- is healthy and monitoring weather across the nation each day, so there is no immediate impact from this performance issue.

If efforts to restore the cooling system are unsuccessful, alternative concepts and modes will be considered to maximize the operational utility of the ABI for NOAA's National Weather Service and other customers.  An update will be provided as new information becomes available.

Click here to listen to the audio from the May 23, 2018 media call.

The 2017-2027 Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space

January 5, 2018: NOAA is pleased to be a sponsor (along with NASA and USGS) of Thriving on Our Changing Planet: A Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space (2018), released today by the National Research Council. We thank the authors and contributors for their work, and we look forward to reviewing their recommendations in greater depth over the coming weeks.

The goal of the survey is to provide expert, consensus recommendations for a forward-looking, integrated and sustainable approach to the U.S. government’s civilian, space-based Earth science programs. The last decadal survey was published in 2007.

NOAA is a leader in providing actionable, environmental intelligence to US citizens and the international community. NOAA’s fleet of advanced satellites operates 24/7, 365 days a year to capture data and imagery that powers weather forecasting models, helps us track severe weather minute-by-minute, and helps us assess short and long-term changes to our climate. We also host one of the most significant archives of environmental data on Earth, spanning million-year-old ice core records to near-real-time satellite images.

Learn more about the survey and find a link to the report.

NOAA’s GOES-S to boost weather forecast accuracy for western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii

More detailed observations will improve marine, aviation forecasts and wildfire detection

February 1, 2018

Artist Rendering GOES-R Series Satellite Illustration

NOAA is one month away from launching GOES-S, its newest geostationary weather satellite that will begin providing faster, more accurate data to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, dense fog, and other hazards that threaten the western U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska.
“The GOES-S satellite will join GOES-16 and NOAA-20 as NOAA continues to upgrade its satellite fleet,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The latest GOES addition will provide further insight and unrivaled accuracy into severe weather systems and wildfires in the western United States.”

In tandem with GOES-16, the first satellite in NOAA’s new geostationary series and now in the GOES-East position, the two satellites will observe most of the Western Hemisphere, from the west coast of Africa to New Zealand. This includes the northeastern Pacific, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental U.S., and where there is comparatively little data. When it’s operational later this year, GOES-S will take up the GOES-West position.
And like GOES-16, GOES-S will scan the Earth five times faster at four times the image resolution, with triple the number of channels than previous GOES for more accurate, reliable forecasts and severe weather outlooks.
“We expect GOES-S to be the perfect partner to its sister satellite, GOES-16, whose early returns have surpassed our expectations,” said RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. “The revolutionary technology on these satellites, coupled with the skill of NOAA forecasters, will lead ultimately to more lives saved.” 
“GOES-S will provide high resolution imagery of the western U.S. and eastern Pacific Ocean completing our satellite coverage to further improve weather forecasts across the entire country,” said Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.
In addition to improving weather forecasts, GOES-S will help forecasters identify wildfire hotspots shortly after they begin, and to see rapid intensification - invaluable information that emergency teams need to fight fires and evacuate people in harm’s way. The satellite will also help forecasters better track and predict the formation and dissipation of fog, which can disrupt airport operations.
“We’ll soon see the value of having two sophisticated geostationary satellites in operation, not only in the amount of lives saved through more accurate forecasts, but in cost savings throughout the economy,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. “With GOES-S and GOES-16, we are able to cover about half the planet with the most sophisticated weather forecast technology ever flown in space.”
The GOES-R Series satellites are designed for 10 years of on-orbit operation, followed by up to five years of on-orbit storage. There are four satellites in the GOES-R series: -R, -S, -T and -U, which will extend satellite coverage through 2036.
NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA office, with personnel from both agencies. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center oversees the acquisition of the GOES-R spacecraft and instruments. Lockheed Martin is responsible for the design, creation, and testing the GOES-R Series satellites and for spacecraft launch processing. Harris Corp. provides the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager, along with the ground system, which includes the antenna system for data reception.
The launch, scheduled for March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral, Florida, will be shown on NASA-TV

EDITORS: B-roll available at /content/goes-r-series-media-b-roll


LIFT OFF! NOAA’s JPSS-1 heads to orbit
New polar satellite will improve weather forecasts out to seven days

November 18, 2017

LIFT OFF! NOAA’s JPSS-1 heads to orbit New polar satellite will improve weather forecasts out to seven days

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, the first in a new series of four highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 1:47 a.m. PST this morning. The satellite’s next-generation technology will help improve the timeliness and accuracy of U.S. weather forecasts three to seven days out.
“The value of the new JPSS satellite cannot be understated after this tragic hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “JPSS offers an unparalleled perspective on our planet’s weather, granting NOAA advanced insights which will be used to guard American lives and communities.”
JPSS-1 will be renamed NOAA-20 when it reaches its final orbit. Scientists and forecasters will be able to use the satellite’s data officially after its five advanced instruments, all significantly upgraded from those on NOAA’s previous polar-orbiting satellites, complete three months of tests. The satellite is designed to operate for seven years, with the potential for several more years.
“This year’s hurricane and fire seasons demonstrated just how critical NOAA’s Earth observing satellites are for forecasting extreme weather and hazardous events,” said Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “JPSS joins the recently launched GOES-16 satellite to provide forecasters unprecedented access to high quality data needed for accurate forecasts, which save lives, protects property and safeguards our economic livelihood.”
The data these advanced instruments provide will improve weather forecasting, such as predicting a hurricane’s track, and aid in the recognition of climate patterns that can influence the weather, including El Nino and La Nina. They will also help emergency managers respond to events like wildfires and volcanic eruptions and help communities, recovering from severe storms, with better views of storm damage and show the extent of power outages. The data also will be available to aid scientists monitor changes in our environment.
“Building and launching JPSS-1 underscores NOAA’s commitment to putting the most scientifically advanced satellites as possible into orbit, giving our forecasters – and the public – greater confidence in weather forecasts up to seven days in advance, including the potential for severe or dangerous weather,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.   
JPSS-1 will join the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite in the same polar orbit, and will also provide scientists with observations of atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash, and fire detection.
“Emergency managers increasingly rely on our forecasts to make critical decisions and take appropriate action before a storm hits,” said Louis W. Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Polar satellite observations not only help us monitor and collect information about current weather systems, but they provide data to feed into our weather forecast models.” 
Together, NOAA and NASA oversee the development, launch, testing and operation all the satellites in the JPSS program. NOAA funds and manages the program, operations and data products. On behalf of NOAA, NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft and ground system and launches the satellites which then NOAA takes over to operate.
“Today’s launch is the latest example of the strong relationship between NASA and NOAA, contributing to the advancement of scientific discovery and the improvement of the U.S. weather forecasting capability by leveraging the unique vantage point of space to benefit and protect humankind,” said Sandra Smalley, director, NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division.
Ball Aerospace designed and built the JPSS-1 satellite bus and Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument, integrated all five of the spacecraft’s instruments and performed satellite-level testing and launch support. Raytheon Corporation built the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and the Common Ground System. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems built the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System instrument.     
For more information on JPSS-1, visit /jpss-1#liftoff.

JPSS-1 Has New Target Launch Date

September 1, 2017

JPSS-1 Spacecraft Photo
Credit: Ball Aerospace

The launch of JPSS-1, the first in a series of NOAA’s four next-generation operational polar-orbiting weather satellites that will give scientists the most advanced tools to aid in weather forecasting and earth observations, is scheduled for November 10 at 1:47 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 

“Hurricane Harvey is a stark reminder of the importance of the NOAA satellite program,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this disaster.”

These advanced Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) satellites will serve as the backbone of NOAA’s weather forecasting system for the next 20 years, providing the reliable, global observations required to support accurate numerical weather forecasts up to seven days in advance.

The new launch date has given engineers extra time to complete testing of the spacecraft and instrument electronics and to finish work on the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder, one of the primary instruments on JPSS. The satellite carries five state-of-the-art instruments providing a comprehensive suite of earth observations. 

“The JPSS-1 team has done an incredible job getting this extremely capable satellite prepared for launch and ready to send back quality environmental data soon after it is in orbit,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

The satellite is scheduled to arrive in California just before the Labor Day weekend, where it will undergo final preparation before it is launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. When it reaches orbit, JPSS-1 will be renamed NOAA-20.

Following launch, JPSS-1 will join Suomi NPP, the joint NOAA-NASA weather satellite giving the United States two, highly sophisticated satellites, each circling the Earth 14 times per day, providing full, global observations for U.S. weather prediction. Suomi NPP, which initially was planned as a research and risk reduction mission when it launched on October 28, 2011, became NOAA’s primary operational satellite for global weather observations on May 1, 2014.

Ball Aerospace designed and built the JPSS-1 satellite bus and Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument, integrated all five of the spacecraft’s instruments and performed satellite-level testing and launch support. Raytheon Corporation built the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and built the common ground system. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems built the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System instrument.

NOAA works in partnership with NASA on all JPSS missions, ensuring a continuous series of global weather data to secure a more "Weather-Ready” Nation.


NOAA Satellites in the Media