The JPSS satellites will carry a suite of sensors designed to collect meteorological, oceanographic, climatological and solar-geophysical observations of the earth, atmosphere and space. The ground processing system for JPSS is known as the JPSS Common Ground System (JPSS CGS), which consists of a Command, Control and Communications Segment (C3S) and an Interface Data Processing Segment (IDPS). Both segments are developed by Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems (IIS). The C3S is currently flying the Suomi National Polar Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite and transfers mission data from Suomi NPP and between the ground facilities. The IDPS processes Suomi NPP satellite data to provide Environmental Data Records (EDRs) to NOAA and DoD processing centers operated by the United States government. When the JPSS-1 satellite is launched in early 2017, the responsibilities of the C3S and the IDPS will be expanded to support both Suomi NPP and JPSS-1.
The CGS also employs its ground stations at Svalbard, Norway and McMurdo Station, Antarctica, along with a global fiber communications network, to provide data acquisition and routing for multiple additional missions. These include POES, DMSP, NASA Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN, which includes the Earth Observing System [EOS]), Metop for the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), Coriolis/WindSat for the DoD, as well as research activities of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CGS architecture is evolving over the next few years for several key reasons:
1. Operationalizing Suomi NPP, which had originally been intended as a risk reduction mission
2. Leveraging lessons learned to date in multi-mission support
3. Taking advantage of newer, more reliable and efficient technologies
4. Satisfying new requirements and constraints due to the continually evolving budgetary environment
Three key aspects of the CGS architecture are being prototyped as part of the path to improve operations in the 2015 timeframe. First, the front end architecture for mission data transport is being re-architected to improve reliability and address the incorporation of new ground stations. Second, the IDPS is undergoing a decoupling process to enhance its flexibility and modularity for supporting an array of potential new missions beyond those listed above. Finally, a solution for complete situational awareness across the CGS is being developed, to facilitate quicker and more efficient identification and resolution of system anomalies. This paper discusses the evolution of the CGS architecture to address these future mission needs.