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JPSS Series NOAA-20 Spacecraft, Instruments, & Launch Vehicle

Image at NESDIS

The Spacecraft

The NOAA-20 spacecraft vehicle was designed for an operational lifetime of seven years. At launch, the satellite weighed 4,850 pounds, or 2,200 kilograms. 

JPSS-2, launching in 2022, is also designed for an operational lifetime of seven years. At launch, the satellite will weigh approximately 5,500 pounds, or 2,500 kilograms.


Image at NESDIS

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument collects visible and infrared imagery and global observations of land, atmosphere, cryosphere and oceans. Using 22 spectral channels ranging from 412 nm to 12 microns, VIIRS generates many critical environmental products pertaining to snow and ice cover, clouds, fog, aerosols, fire, smoke plumes, dust, vegetation health, phytoplankton abundance and chlorophyll.

Manufacturer: Raytheon Company



Image at NESDIS

The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) provides information about the physical properties of our atmosphere, such as temperature and moisture. With its 22 separate channels, ATMS can generate three-dimensional profiles of atmospheric temperature and atmospheric moisture by measuring the interaction of microwaves with water particles in the air.

Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman Corporation



Image of scientists in a clean lab

The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument is the first in a series of advanced operational sounders that provides more accurate, detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations for weather and climate applications. CrIS presents information on greenhouse gases, primarily in the middle and upper atmosphere. CrIS produces water vapor (humidity) and temperature profiles of Earth's entire atmosphere and works in tandem with the ATMS instrument.

Manufacturer: Harris Corporation



Image of instruments on the JPSS Satellite

The advanced Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) monitors the health of the ozone layer and measures the concentration of ozone in the Earth's atmosphere. OMPS collects total column and vertical profile ozone data, and continues the daily global data produced by current ozone monitoring systems.

Manufacturer: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation



Image at NESDIS

The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System instrument measures reflected sunlight and thermal radiation emitted by the Earth. CERES helps provide measurements of the spatial and temporal distribution of Earth's Radiation Budget (ERB) components. This further develops a quantitative understanding of the links between the ERB and the properties of the atmosphere and surface that define it.

Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman Corporation


Launch Vehicle

Image of Atlas V Rocket

A launch vehicle is chosen based on how much mass the vehicle can lift into space. The Atlas V 401 rocket has the right liftoff capability for the JPSS-2 satellite, which will weigh approximately 5,500 pounds, or 2,500 kilograms, at launch.

Stage 1: Atlas V Rocket: Fuel and oxygen tanks that feed an engine for the ascent; powers spacecraft into Earth orbit.

Stage 2: Centaur: Fuel and oxidizer and the vehicle's "brains".

Payload Fairing: Thin composite or nose cone to protect the spacecraft during the ascent through Earth's atmosphere.