383 Joint Polar Satellite System 1 (JPSS-1) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Instrument (VIIRS) Performance, Comparisons to Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SNPP) VIIRS Performance, and Impacts to EDRs

Monday, 11 January 2016
Janna Feeley, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA

The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the next generation of low earth-orbiting, environmental satellites, comprised of a series of satellites that provide data that are disseminated to the customer and user community for integration into a multitude of applications, including forecasting, military applications, and climate studies. To ensure adequate instrument performance to meet the needs of these applications, each of the JPSS instruments undergoes a rigorous prelaunch environmental and thermal vacuum test campaign. The prelaunch test campaigns for the instruments on-board the second satellite in the JPSS suite, JPSS-1, are underway. The focus of this paper will be the JPSS-1 Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), built by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in El, Segundo, CA. The JPSS-1 VIIRS prelaunch, instrument-level test campaign was completed in February 2015, and expected performance is well characterized.

VIIRS has 22 bands: 14 reflective solar bands (RSBs), 7 thermal emissive bands (TEBs) and a day-night band (DNB). The RSBs include 11 moderate bands (M-bands) at a resolution of 742 m and 3 imaging band (I-bands) at 371 m, and cover the spectral wavelengths between 0.412 to 2.25 μm. The TEBs include 5 M-bands and 2 I-bands, covering spectral wavelengths between 3.7 μm and 12.013 μm. The calibrated SDRs for these bands are used in downstream processing to generate Environmental Data Records (EDRs), including Ocean Color/Chlorophyll, Sea Surface Temperature, Active Fires, and atmospheric properties. EDR data quality depends on accurate radiometric, spatial, and spectral calibration, as well as accurate polarization sensitivity characterization. Each of these has been assessed prelaunch for JPSS-1, and results have yielded both expected and unexpected differences in the JPSS-1 VIIRS performance, as compared to SNPP.

This paper will highlight a subset of the deltas between the SNPP and JPSS-1 VIIRS instrument performance. Specifically, it will compare RSB polarization sensitivity uncertainty, TEB detector noise, and the frequency of expected occurrences of saturation rollover in a subset of RSB and TEB bands. Further, this paper will discuss expected impacts to Ocean Color, Sea Surface Temperature, Active Fires, and Cloud EDR. Finally it will discuss potential mitigation approaches for each of these artifacts, which may be implemented in the post-launch JPSS-1 calibration/validation phase.

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