2002 Annual

Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 8:30 AM
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System—Future U.S. Environmental Observing System
Craig S. Nelson, NOAA/NPOESS/Integrated Program Office, Silver Spring, MD; and J. D. Cunningham
Over the last seven years, a tri-agency Integrated Program Office (IPO), comprised of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been managing the development of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). Beginning later this decade, NPOESS spacecraft will be launched into three orbital planes to provide a single, national system capable of satisfying both civil and national security requirements for space-based, remotely sensed environmental data. The advanced technology visible, infrared, and microwave imagers and sounders that are being developed for NPOESS will deliver higher spatial and temporal resolution atmospheric, oceanic, terrestrial, and solar-geophysical data enabling more accurate short-term weather forecasts and severe storm warnings, as well as serving the data continuity requirements for improved global climate change assessment and prediction. Early flight-testing of instruments is planned to reduce development risk and to demonstrate and validate global imaging and sounding instruments, algorithms, and pre-operational ground processing systems prior to delivery of the first NPOESS spacecraft in 2008. The NPOESS program is well along the path to creating a high performance, polar-orbiting satellite system that will be more responsive to user requirements, deliver more capability at less cost, and provide sustained, space-based measurements as a cornerstone of an Integrated Global Observing System.

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