NPP Successfully Launched

A new generation of U.S. polar orbiting environmental satellites begins with the launch of the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) on 28 October 2011.  The advanced instruments on NPP will give weather and climate scientists the capability to improve forecasts and to better understand our geophysical environment.  Born out of a collaboration between NASA and NOAA, the NPP program benefits from additional support from numerous partners, including the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC).

Visit the NASA and NOAA web sites for detailed information on NPP:

SSEC scientists began supporting NPP preparations several years ago by assisting in evaluating instrument measurement quality, particularly with the CrIS (Cross-track Infrared Sounder) and the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite).  Such work will continue post-launch as well, including participation in a field campaign in 2012 that will include SSEC instrumentation (the Scanning HIS and the High Spectral Resolution LIDAR (HSRL)). The goal of the campaign is to help assess the operational quality of the NPP instruments, data, and products.

SSEC scientists have also been developing and evaluating algorithms that create products from the data.  Efforts have focused on several key areas of our expertise, from temperature and moisture structure, to clouds and aerosols, and to snow and ice.

In addition to work on specific algorithms, SSEC researchers are also dedicated to disseminating the algorithms far and wide in the user community via Direct Broadcast.  We will participate on the JPSS Algorithm Development Library Team and help to integrate NPP algorithms for international use through the JPSS Proving Ground.  Strong data analysis and visualization tools are also being made available by bringing NPP and other ancillary data into the new generation of SSEC’s premier software package known as McIDAS (Man-computer Interactive Data Access System).

SSEC is proud of the role it has played and will continue to play in the NPP/JPSS era. Look for more details in an article in the next issue of SSEC’s newsletter, Through the Atmosphere.

See also: UW-Madison News Story - "Launch of new satellite will sharpen weather observations"

Last Updated:
October 28, 2011
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