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JPSS Satellite and Instruments

The instruments on the JPSS satellite gather measurements of conditions in the atmosphere, in the ocean, and on land. Some of these measurements and observations include land and sea surface temperatures, rainfall rates, snow and ice cover, fire locations, smoke plumes, temperatures in the atmosphere, water vapor, and pollutants.

The spacecraft bus (the satellite’s main body) and four instruments are built in Indiana, Colorado, and California. After all the pieces are built, they are put together and tested in Arizona. Once the engineers test the satellite to make sure all the parts work properly together, it is shipped to California for launch.

NOAA-21 is about the size of a large pickup truck, at 14 feet by 7 feet, and it weighs 5,750 pounds. Its length stretches to 35 feet when its solar array is deployed.

JPSS Instruments


Get to know the Instruments

Image of the ATMS instrument
Provides information about the physical properties of our atmosphere, such as temperature and moisture, which heavily influence weather patterns.
Image of the CERES Instrument
Helps scientists understand the links between the energy being absorbed and emitted by Earth’s climate as well as the properties of the atmosphere that affect that energy balance.
Render of a satellite over Earth with a detail zoomed in view of the Libera instrument.
A new sensor that will fly on the JPSS-4 mission and observe the balance between solar radiation entering Earth’s atmosphere and the amount absorbed, reflected and emitted.
Image of the CrIS instrument
Provides more accurate, detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations for weather and climate applications.
Image Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS)
Tracks the health of Earth’s ozone layer and measures the concentration of ozone and other aerosols in the Earth's atmosphere.
Image of Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)
Collects visible and infrared images and global observations of the land, atmosphere, cryosphere and oceans.