The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) mission is the bridge between the nation’s Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites and the next generation Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS).
Suomi NPP will help scientists understand and monitor our environment on Earth and also provide vital near-term weather data to meteorologists.
The mission hosts a suite of advanced-technology remote sensing instruments that will provide critical data for the nation.
Importance of Environmental Monitoring and Weather Data
Polar-orbit satellites contribute vital information for national forecasts, severe weather warnings, search and rescue operations, military contingency planning and environmental monitoring. The nation’s ability to understand its environment and weather is central to our economic competitiveness and the safety and security of its citizens.
Suomi NPP will help NASA continue its long record of environmental monitoring established by EOS. This data record provides critical information about clouds, oceans, vegetation, ice and the atmosphere.
Role of the Suomi NPP mission
NPP has a unique role in that it will monitor the health of the Earth from space, it will be the first satellite to acquire a wide range of land, ocean and atmospheric measurements while also preparing to address the nation’s requirement for weather forecasting.
Ball Aerospace designed and built the Suomi NPP satellite bus, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument, integrating all instruments, and performing satellite-level testing and launch support.
The Suomi NPP spacecraft is a member of the BCP family of spacecraft designed for cost-effective, remote sensing applications. The Suomi NPP spacecraft bus is the eighth spacecraft built by Ball Aerospace on the same BCP core architecture. In all, this architecture has more than 50 years of successful on-orbit operations. Additionally, the Suomi NPP spacecraft incorporates both MIL-STD-1553 and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) data networks to support the payload suite.
The Suomi NPP spacecraft is a fixed-price contract with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Suomi NPP launched October 28, 2011 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Suomi NPP carries five instruments, including:
- The Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)
- The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS)
- The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS)
- The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS)
- The Clouds and the Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES)