Work has already begun on JPSS’ follow-on spacecraft. The JPSS baseline continues to consist of four instruments: advanced microwave and infrared sounders (CrIS, ATMS) which are critical for weather forecasting; a leading-edge visible and infrared imager (VIIRS) critical to data sparse areas such as Alaska and needed for environmental assessments such as snow/ice cover, droughts, volcanic ash, forest fires and surface temperature; and an ozone sensor (OMPS) primarily used for global monitoring of ozone and input to weather and climate models. The JPSS-2 instruments are well into their assembly and test phases with all four instruments scheduled for completion in 2020. The JPSS-2 spacecraft critical design review (CDR) was successfully completed in December 2017 followed by the completion of Mission CDR in September 2018. JPSS-2 is scheduled for launch in spring 2022. The spacecraft and instruments for the JPSS-3 and 4 spacecraft are in development and on track to meet the NOAA launch commitment dates.
The JPSS partnership with the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) continues to provide a strong foundation for the program’s success. NASA's role is to serve as acquisition Center of Excellence, providing acquisition of instruments and spacecraft. JPSS also continues to maintain its important international relationships with European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) including support of the upcoming METOP-SG and GOSAT-3 missions. JPSS works closely with its user community through the Proving Ground and Risk Reduction (PGRR) Program to identify opportunities to maximize the operational application of current JPSS capabilities. The PGRR Program also helps identify and evaluate the use of JPSS capabilities for new operational missions.
In the near future, we are planning to extend the JPSS Program into a broader low earth orbiting (LEO) portfolio leveraging existing and planned capabilities from other government agencies, the international community, and the commercial sector to deliver more capabilities to our NOAA service areas and stakeholders.
The work being done by the JPSS Program will ensure the continuity of critical capabilities for years to come, while looking for ways to make these capabilities even more useful to its operational users. The best is yet to come!