The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) spacecraft, built by Northrop Grumman Corporation, successfully launched today aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket with launch services managed by NASA’s Launch Service Program. JPSS-2 is the third satellite for the joint NOAA and NASA JPSS program. These satellites provide meteorological data and observations to enhance the prediction and preparation for extreme weather conditions and observe long-term climate trends.
Northrop Grumman designed and built JPSS-2 to increase the timeliness and accuracy of climate and weather data patterns which support more timely decision making and natural disaster advanced planning efforts. This mission is one of several Northrop Grumman payloads set to launch through the end of 2022, supporting customer missions that span human exploration, scientific discovery, communications and national security.
“JPSS-2 improves on NOAA-20’s broadcast capacity by allowing any ground system around the world to receive data in real time, allowing NOAA to receive global data and distribute it to activate emergency preparedness and protect lives,” said Steve Krein, vice president, civil and commercial space, Northrop Grumman.
In addition to the space vehicle, Northrop Grumman manufactured the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) for JPSS-2. The ATMS measures microwave radiation from the Earth's atmosphere and surface during the day and night regardless of cloud cover.
“The global temperature and moisture profiles generated by the ATMS will allow meteorologists globally to create more accurate weather forecasting models that will help communities with natural disaster and emergency preparedness efforts,” said Aaron Dann, vice president, strategic force programs, Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman delivers cost-effective, reliable satellites, instruments, satellite components and ground systems to support a diverse array of scientific and discovery missions. This includes Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite 2, Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 and Landsat 8 and 9, which have produced vital data on climate patterns, atmospheric conditions and land use.
The company also built JPSS-2’s solar array, thermal control, propellant tank and primary structural elements inclusive of the main instrument deck, along with structural elements for key sensors and the reaction control propellant tanks for the Atlas V rocket. Northrop Grumman was selected to manufacture JPSS-3 and 4 satellites, which are expected to launch over the next decade.