334 An overview of Suomi-NPP VIIRS capabilities: One year following launch

Monday, 7 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Arunas P. Kuciauskas, NRL, Monterey, CA; and J. E. Solbrig, T. F. Lee, J. D. Hawkins, M. L. Surratt, K. A. Richardson, R. L. Bankert, S. D. Miller, and J. Kent

Handout (1.4 MB)

The launch of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) in October of 2011 has ushered in a new era of technological advancements within the realm of low earth orbiting satellite (LEO) sensors. In particular is the NPP Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), an imaging sensor that incorporates many of the best characteristics (excellent radiometric fidelity, high spatial resolution and a broad swath) exhibited within its heritage sensors: the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), Operational Linescan Sensor (OLS), and Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The Naval Research Laboratory's Marine Meteorology Division in Monterey, CA (NRL-MRY) is at the forefront of the VIIRS demonstration effort by providing the global public with two websites: 1) NexSat: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/NEXSAT.html and 2) NRL-VIIRS: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/VIIRS.html

Under the auspices of NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), NRL-MRY is sponsored to introduce the scientific community and curious public to VIIRS. This effort was accomplished in two phases. In the first phase prior to launch, NRL-MRY developed algorithms and subsequent imagery onto the NexSat website [1) above] using retrieved data using the VIIRS heritage sensors listed above. The second phase (post launch) consists of several aspects: a) initiating an NRL-VIIRS website for VIIRS-only demonstrations, b) showcasing products from the VIIRS-retrieved visible, IR, Day Night Band (DNB) single channels, and the multi-channel true color, c) continued VIIRS product development of state-of-the-art products by transitioning algorithms from its heritage counterparts, and c) public awareness, education and outreach. The near real-time aspects of product production has been a hallmark of NRL-MRY websites, allowing users from a variety of perspectives to apply the products in both operational as well as research and development endeavors. Although the current VIIRS data latency is on the order of 1-3 hours for the continental US and 7-8 hours elsewhere, ongoing collaborative efforts should eventually allow product displays to appear 1-3 hours following orbital data capture globally.

For this presentation, we will highlight VIIRS capabilities by illustrating the combined NexSat and NRL-VIIRS products over a backdrop of recent weather events. The products consist of visible, infrared, true color, natural (false) color, dust, nighttime applications, wildfires related (hot spots, burn scars), and snow/cloud discrimination that monitor events related to wild fires over the western US, severe African dust outbreaks, and polar views (glacier calving, sea ice movement, auroras, etc.). We will also present ocean color applications over the Gulf of Mexico, as leveraged by our partnership with the cal/val team at NRL-Stennis Space Center (NRL-SSC). We will also describe VIIRS improved technology by contrasting its superior performance to current legacy sensors, with regard to feature detail and edge of swath effects.

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