8.1 Ready for the Future: How OSPO Prepared for NOAA's Most Advanced Satellites

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 8:30 AM
615 AB (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Vanessa Griffin, NOAA/NESDIS, Silver Spring, MD; and S. Leonard, C. Sisko, C. Wheeler, M. Seybold, and K. Feiner

There are thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth. Many are only a few hundred kilometers above us and complete about 15 orbits every 24 hours. Geostationary satellites are located around 40,000 kilometers from the surface of the Earth, completing one orbit of the Earth every 24 hours. NOAA just launched two next generation weather satellites over the last year, GOES-16 and JPSS-1. Have you ever wondered how a satellite is made? Typically, there are four main stages in the lifecycle of a satellite. At the end of each stage, the satellite and ground system will go through a series of technical reviews to ensure the key performance parameters (KPPs) are met before moving to the next stage. The first stage is the System Concept Development. During this phase of the initial mission concept is examined and a preliminary design is created. The second stage is the Design Phase. Our weather customers provide more detailed requirements as the design of the mission and the satellite becomes more advanced. By the end of this phase a “baseline” solution for the mission is produced. In the third stage, Development and Test, the overall satellite design is finalized and the manufacture begins. The role of the satellite manufacturer is to bring all the pieces together to build the satellite. The satellite will undergo a series of tests to ensure that it can survive both the launch and the space environment. The final stage is Launch and Operations. The satellite will blast off from the launch site and be propelled into space. The satellite will maneuver itself into the desired orbit and, after a few months of testing, it will be transition to operations. At the end of its mission life, the satellite is decommissioned. Satellites in a low-Earth orbit are deorbited and burn up in the atmosphere, satellites in the geostationary orbit are maneuvered into an orbit further away from the Earth. The newest NOAA satellites, GOES-R and JPSS-1, will significantly improve the detection and observation of environmental phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property and our nation’s economic health and prosperity. They will deliver key observations for the Nation's essential products and services, including forecasting severe weather like hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards days in advance, and assessing environmental hazards such as droughts, forest fires, poor air quality and harmful coastal waters. NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland prepared for the next generation of weather satellites by making significant changes to the operations center and weather data generation and distribution system. Vanessa Griffin has over 30 years’ experience in the Federal Government helping foster the research, development, and operations of the Nation’s critical IT systems supporting weather and climate prediction and atmospheric research. In her current position as the Director of NOAA’s Office of Satellite and Product Operations (OSPO), Ms. Griffin directs the 550+ person team responsible for the successful operation of seventeen of the Nation’s environmental satellites along with the production and analysis of science products using the data from those satellites. Ms. Griffin is responsible for all operations at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility and at two Command and Data Acquisition Stations.
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