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NASA Awards Modification to Refurbish Instrument for NOAA’s JPSS

December 16, 2022

On behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA has awarded a sole source contract modification to Northrop Grumman of Azusa, California, for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) Engineering Development Unit (EDU) refurbishment.


Image of the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS).
Image of the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS).

This is a cost-plus, fixed-fee contract modification in the amount of $13,261,772 and will increase the total contract value to $579,770,626.

The principal purpose of this new work modification is to refurbish the JPSS ATMS EDU as a flight instrument for the QuickSounder project, which will support NOAA’s next generation satellite architecture for its future Low-Earth Orbit Earth Observations System (LEOS) program.

The QuickSounder project is a NOAA risk-reduction mission to evaluate streamlined acquisition processes and determine the utility of commercial small satellites, launch services, mission operations and data routing in a disaggregated constellation for the next generation of LEO weather satellites.

ATMS is a passive microwave instrument that provides high spatial resolution microwave temperature and humidity sounding data in all conditions, including cloud cover. NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters use these data in computer models to improve global and regional predictions of weather patterns, storm tracks, and precipitation. More than 90 percent of the data used in NWS models comes from satellite data and ATMS is fundamental to the accuracy and precision of the model output. This information significantly improves short- and long-term weather forecasting.

Together, NOAA and NASA oversee the development, launch, testing, and operation of all the satellites in the JPSS program. NOAA funds and manages the program, operations, and data products. On behalf of NOAA, NASA and commercial partners develop and build the instruments, spacecraft, and ground system, and launch the satellites.


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Cynthia M. O'Carroll 
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.