Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Storms, Ozone, Vegetation and More: NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP Satellite Returns First Year of Data
by Laura Betz for Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Nov 08, 2012

These two images are season-long composites of ocean chlorophyll concentrations derived from visible radiometric measurements made by the VIIRS instrument on Suomi NPP. The date ranges of the two composites are included in the individual images. These false-colored images make the data stand out. The purple and blue colors represent lower chlorophyll concentrations. The oranges and reds represent higher chlorophyll concentrations. These differences in color indicate areas with lesser or greater phytoplankton biomass. Credit: NASA/Suomi NPP/Norman Kuring. View northern hemisphere larger here. View southern hemisphere larger here.

On Oct. 28, 2011, the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite successfully blasted into orbit in a spectacular night launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Now, Suomi NPP has orbited the Earth more than 5,000 times and begun returning images and data that provide critical weather and climate measurements of the complex Earth system.

"The Suomi NPP flight and ground teams have spent the first year making sure the spacecraft, instruments and data products are working well. As the instruments and data products have successfully checked out, the data go out to users," says James Gleason, Suomi NPP project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

"These data help us improve our computer models that predict future environmental conditions," Gleason adds. "Better predictions let us make better decisions, whether it is as simple as taking an umbrella to work today or as complex as responding to a changing climate."

Suomi NPP observes Earth's surface twice every day, once in daylight and once at night. The spacecraft flies 512 miles (824 kilometers) above the surface in a polar orbit, circling the planet about 14 times a day. Suomi NPP sends its data once an orbit to the ground station in Svalbard, Norway, and continuously to local direct broadcast users.

Named for satellite meteorology pioneer Verner Suomi, the Suomi NPP mission is managed by NASA with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) providing operational support and NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) managing the satellite's ground system.

"Suomi NPP provides NOAA with the highest quality satellite data for critical operational products and services, such as weather forecasts, climate and ecosystem assessments," says Mitch Goldberg, NOAA's JPSS program scientist. NPP is the precursor satellite for the upcoming series of JPSS Earth-observing satellites.

What makes Suomi NPP such a powerful tool is the wide range of important observations it makes with its five instruments. These instruments send back data that allow scientists to see the entire globe from space and further understand oceans, clouds, ozone, snow, ice, vegetation and atmosphere.

Suomi NPP's five instruments include:
+ Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)
+ Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS)
+ Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS)
+ Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS)
+ Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES)

This year VIIRS left the world in awe with a spectacular composite image of our planet that became known as the 'blue marble,' OMPS took its first measurements of the annual ozone hole, ATMS data are now being used to make weather forecasts, and CrIS data are just about ready to be used in weather forecasts.

The CERES data are being matched to that of its sibling instruments on NASA's Earth Observing System satellites Terra and Aqua with the goal of understanding clouds and the Earth's energy balance

"Suomi NPP is a foundational satellite that offers an abundance of observations, plus it's sustaining a program of advanced observations," says Goldberg. "This is critical for long-term data continuity."

This fully functional satellite bridges more than a decade of observations by NASA satellites - NASA's Earth Observing System - to the next generation of U.S. Earth-observing satellites - JPSS.

JPSS, currently under development, is building on the success of Suomi NPP and will provide critical observations for accurate weather forecasting, reliable severe storm outlooks, and climate science, including global measurements of atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial conditions such as sea surface temperatures, ozone, vegetation, and more.


Related Links
Suomi NPP
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

NASA's SPoRT Team Tracks Hurricane Sandy
Huntsville AL (SPX) Nov 06, 2012
As Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the east coast, weather experts at the Short-term Prediction Research and Transition, or SPoRT Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville were busy developing information to help forecasters better predict the massive storm. The SPoRT Center uses Earth Observing System measurements and other satellite data to generate products useful in ... read more

Moon crater yields impact clues

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

Astrium presents results of its study into automatic landing near the Moon's south pole

More Driving And Imaging At 'Matijevic Hill'

Curiosity Team Switches Back to Earth Time

Survey of 'Matijevic Hill' Continues

Mars Longevity Champ Switching Computers

Voyager observes magnetic field fluctuations in heliosheath

New NASA Online Science Resource Available for Educators and Students

'First' Pakistan astronaut wants to make peace in space

Space daredevil Baumgartner is 'officially retired'

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

China to launch 11 meteorological satellites by 2020

China makes progress in spaceflight research

Crew Prepares for Spacewalk After Progress Docks

Crew Preparing for Cargo Ship, Spacewalk

Russian cargo ship docks with ISS: official

Packed Week Ahead for Six-Member Crew

Ariane 5 is poised for Arianespace's launch with the EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3 satellites

Ariane 5 orbits EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3 satellites

Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight is cleared for liftoff with EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3

NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building Prepared for Multiple Rockets

Physicists confirm first planet discovered in a quadruple star system

Planet-hunt data released to public

New Study Brings a Doubted Exoplanet 'Back from the Dead'

New small satellite will study super-Earths for ESA

HTC and Apple reach global settlement

Nanocrystals and nickel catalyst substantially improve light-based hydrogen production

Apple still perched high, but seems vulnerable

Radar Production Readiness Review For Indonesia National Air Space Surveillance Program Completed

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement