The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)

The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the Nation's new generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This interagency effort is the latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.

JPSS was established in the President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget request (February 2010) as the civilian successor to the restructured National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). As the backbone of the global observing system, JPSS polar satellites circle the Earth from pole-to-pole and cross the equator about 14 times daily in the afternoon orbit, providing full global coverage twice a day.

Satellites in the JPSS constellation gather global measurements of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions, including sea and land surface temperatures, vegetation, clouds, rainfall, snow and ice cover, fire locations and smoke plumes, atmospheric temperature, water vapor and ozone. JPSS delivers 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. Further, JPSS will provide continuity of critical, global observations of Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land through 2038.


Suomi NPP satellite The NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) was renamed to Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) in honor of Verner E. Suomi, University of Wisconsin meteorologist, widely recognized as the "Father of Satellite Meteorology."

Launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base a board a Delta-II Mission Launch Vehicle in October 2011, Suomi NPP is the predecessor to the JPSS series spacecraft and is considered the bridge between NOAA's legacy polar satellite fleet, NASA's Earth observing missions and the JPSS constellation. Suomi NPP was constructed with a design life of five years (although it’s still functioning normally) and carries five state-of-the-art instruments: (1) VIIRS, (2) CrIS, (3) ATMS, (4) OMPS, and (5) CERES FM5.


JPSS-1 launched into space on November 18, 2017 and it is the first spacecraft of NOAA's next generation of polar-orbiting satellites. JPSS-1 was renamed NOAA-20. Capitalizing on the success of Suomi NPP, NOAA-20 features five similar instruments: (1) VIIRS, (2) CrIS, (3) ATMS, (4) OMPS-N, and (5) CERES-FM6. NOAA-20 has a design life of seven years and it will circle the Earth in the same orbit as Suomi NPP, although the two satellites will be separated in time and space by 50 minutes.


JPSS-2 Satellite launched Nov 10 2022. The JPSS-2 spacecraft features several instruments similar to those found on NOAA-20— VIIRS, CrIS, ATMS and OMPS-N—and provides operational continuity of satellite-based observations of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions for both weather forecasting and long-term climate and environmental data records.


JPSS-3, the third spacecraft in the JPSS series, is scheduled to launch in 2026. Benefiting from on the success of previous JPSS spacecraft, JPSS-3 will carry instruments similar to those found on earlier JPSS satellites: VIIRS, CrIS, ATMS and OMPS-N.


Scheduled to launch in 2031, JPSS-4 is the fourth and final spacecraft of the JPSS constellation. Similar to previous JPSS spacecraft, JPSS-4 will host the latest versions of the VIIRS, CrIS, ATMS and OMPS-N instruments.

JPSS Data Products

View JPSS Program Data Products >>>

JPSS-2/NOAA-21 Product Operations Plan >>>

View JPSS Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents (ATBD) and other documents >>>

View JPSS/S-NPP Data Product Operational Matrix >>>

Click on the following link for the S-NPP and JPSS Algorithm Maturity Matrix from NOAA STAR: