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:
NOAA Selects New Systems Lead for its Satellite and Information Service
September 26, 2019
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.
#2019jointsatelliteconf will feature a Sunday career development panel with leaders from @eumetsat, @NOAASatellites, @IMSGInc, @NASA, and @usairforce. Join us! https://t.co/PX6RccLTNX @AMSEarlyCareer @AMSStudentConf pic.twitter.com/iBvEDYl2LF— Ryan Kramer (@rjkrmr) September 20, 2019
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
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.
Members of the news media may contact NESDIS by reaching out to our Public Affairs Officer, John Leslie at:
New, Next-Generation NOAA Polar-Orbiting Satellite is Now Operational
May 30, 2018
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.
John Leslie, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-713-0214
Maureen O’Leary, email@example.com, 301-713-9000
Scientists Investigate GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager Performance Issue
May 23, 2018
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.
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.
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
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 https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/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
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 https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1#liftoff.
JPSS-1 Has New Target Launch Date
September 1, 2017
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