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Joint Polar Satellite System

NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) provides global observations that serve as the backbone of both short- and long-term forecasts, including those that help us predict and prepare for severe weather events. The five satellites scheduled in the fleet are the currently-flying NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, NOAA-20, previously known as JPSS-1, NOAA-21, previously known as JPSS-2, and the upcoming JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 satellites.

Each satellite carries at least four state-of-the-art instruments, including the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), the Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS). Some of the satellites, like NOAA-20 and JPSS-3, carry an instrument to measure the Earth’s energy budget.

JPSS satellites circle the Earth from pole to pole and cross the equator about 14 times daily in the afternoon orbit to provide full global coverage twice a day. In doing so, they provide the majority of data that informs numerical weather forecasting in the U.S. and deliver critical observations during severe weather events like hurricanes and blizzards.

Beyond forecasting, JPSS satellites also play a critical role in detecting and monitoring environmental hazards, such as droughts, forest fires, poor air quality and harmful coastal waters--observations they will provide on a continuous basis through 2038.

NOAA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, works in partnership with NASA on all JPSS missions, ensuring a continuous series of global weather data to secure a more "Weather-Ready” Nation.


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The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is a collaborative program between NOAA and NASA that operates the Nation's newest system of polar-orbiting satellites that collect environmental information about the Earth.
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Besides providing weather forecasts, JPSS benefits everyone in all 50 states through research opportunities, partnerships, education, and more.
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NOAA-21, NOAA-20, and Suomi NPP Orbits

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