Wednesday, 12 January 2005: 2:00 PM
The Initial Joint Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System Approaches First Launch
The Initial Joint Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System (IJPS) was formally established when an international Agreement was signed on November 19, 1998, between the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Director of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). NOAA will provide two satellites, NOAA-N and –N-Prime for launch in the afternoon orbit and EUMETSAT agreed to develop and launch two European-built satellites for the morning orbit, Metop-1 and -2. The Agreement includes common instruments to be flown on both satellites and satellite unique instruments flown on NOAA and Metop specifically. In addition, NOAA and EUMETSAT will ensure their ground systems are able to receive, process and distribute data from each other’s satellites, and in the event of anomalies provide backup support for the other. NOAA-N is the first of this new IJPS constellation and the launch of the first Metop satellite follows about a year later. When those satellites need replacement, NOAA-N Prime and the second Metop satellite will be placed into service for their respective orbits. The latest progress in satellite data acquisition, communications, data processing, and distribution are provided for this international cooperative polar satellite system.
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