Suomi NPP VIIRS Imagery after 1 Year
Although the processing of VIIRS Non-NCC (Near Constant Contrast) Imagery has proved to be relatively easy for a new generation instrument, there were however challenges to the smooth operation of new data paths set up for VIIRS, including working out how to best build and support data distribution systems that provide data to both NOAA and DoD. In addition working on the display and visualization of VIIRS, along with required improvements in existing display software, revealed problems which could not be fully anticipated until VIIRS data were actually available.
NCC Imagery was an additional challenge, with many issues in the processing from Day-Night Band (DNB) sensor data records (SDRs) to NCC environmental data records (EDRs). The main problem was missing NCC imagery at night most likely due to the complex nature of how the NCC imagery algorithm handles decreasing amounts of lunar illumination. Software problems related to NCC are in the process of being resolved as this is being written. There is also stray light hardware issue that will hopefully be resolved in future versions of VIIRS.
NPP is the first of the operational Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) satellites, with JPSS-1 to be launched in the 2016 time frame. The experience gained in processing and visualization of VIIRS has implications for the next major satellite system, GOES-R, suggesting that a long term checkout period is necessary for any new generation satellite.
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.