5.2 Preparing for VIIRS Imagery from JPSS-1

Tuesday, 16 August 2016: 10:45 AM
Madison Ballroom CD (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Donald W. Hillger, NOAA/NESDIS, Fort Collins, CO; and T. J. Kopp, S. D. Miller, C. J. Seaman, J. Torres, and D. T. Lindsey

VIIRS Imagery from the Suomi-NPP satellite is the highest spatial resolution (375 m) multi-spectral imagery of any operational weather satellite to date. The polar-orbit and wide/overlapping swaths allow global coverage of the entire world every 12 hours. The Imagery EDRs share calibration/validation activities with the VIIRS SDR Cal/Val Team, where most of the VIIRS calibration activity occurs. However, most of the Imagery EDRs are Key Performance Parameters for VIIRS, whose quality is vital to the success of the JPSS series. Because VIIRS covers the high-latitude and polar regions especially well, with both high spatial resolution and acceptable temporal coverage, the Alaska theatre in particular benefits from VIIRS more than lower-latitudes where geostationary imagery provides better temporal coverage.

Although VIIRS high-resolution visible and infrared capabilities are unmatched, user validation is also tied to the unique features of VIIRS, including the Day/Night Band (DNB) that is not available from any current or near-future geostationary platform. The DNB, and the NCC derived from it, have found widespread use across NOAA and the NWS. NCC is capable of providing visual images at night, even under no moon conditions. While the quality varies with the amount of available moonlight, day-night images have proven useful in locating clouds, ice edges, snow cover, tropical cyclone centers (eyes), fires and gas flares, lightning, dust storms, and volcanic eruptions. All of this is done, however, in spite of the challenges of stray light interference that is expected to be a continuing issue with JPSS-1.

Now that VIIRS on S-NPP has been long validated, the same checkout procedures will be applied to JPSS-1, to be launched in early 2017. The validation timeframe has been shortened for JPSS-1, so that imagery products are declared operational and made available more quickly to the NWS, and in particular Alaska users. VIIRS Imagery is being incorporated into operational analysis and forecasting via distribution through the AWIPS to NWS users. VIIRS Imagery of significant weather and weather-related features is also made available on numerous blog and social media venues, where most of its non-meteorological users reside. For either type of user the best image quality is important, since users are a vital component to the validation of VIIRS Imagery.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and findings contained in this article are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or U.S. Government position, policy, or decision.

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