Joint Polar Satellite System-2
Mission typeWeather
COSPAR ID Edit this at Wikidata
Mission duration7 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeJoint Polar Satellite System
ManufacturerNorthrop Grumman Innovation Systems
Launch mass2,930 kg (6,460 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date1 November 2022 (planned)[1]
RocketAtlas V 401
Launch siteVandenberg, SLC-3E
ContractorUnited Launch Alliance
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit (planned)
RegimeSun-synchronous orbit
Altitude833 km
Period102.00 minutes
Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS)
Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS)
Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS)
Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)
← NOAA-20
JPSS-3 (NOAA-22) →
This visualization illustrates how NOAA-20 orbit phasing and raising works relative to Suomi NPP, the notional way can be maneuvered a quarter-orbit along-track separation from NOAA-20 prior to launch of JPSS-2, and how a three-satellite constellation operates on a Sun-synchronous orbit node-crossing including sensor-swath footprints as the world turns below.

JPSS-2, or Joint Polar Satellite System-2, is the second of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous, environmental satellites called the Joint Polar Satellite System. JPSS-2 is scheduled to be launched on 1 November 2022 and join NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP in the same orbit.[1] Circling the Earth from pole-to-pole, it will cross the equator about 14 times daily, providing full global coverage twice a day.[2]

JPSS-2 will provide operational continuity of satellite-based observations and products for NOAA Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) and Suomi NPP satellite and ground systems.[2] The baseline plan for JPSS Ground System will be sustained to support JPSS-2, similar to NOAA-20. The JPSS-2 spacecraft will host the following instruments: 1) VIIRS, 2) CrIS, 3) ATMS, and 4) OMPS. It was at one time intended to carry the Radiation Budget Instrument (RBI) but NASA cancelled that project in 2018.[3]


On 24 March 2015, NASA announced that Orbital ATK would build one, and possibly three, Joint Polar Satellite System spacecraft. In winning the contract, Orbital unseated the incumbent Ball Aerospace & Technologies which had built NOAA-20 (JPSS-1) and Suomi NPP.[4] JPSS-2 is based on Orbital ATK's LEOStar-3 spacecraft bus platform, which was also used on Landsat 8. The second Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation satellite (ICESat-2) and the Landsat 9 spacecraft are also based on the LEOStar-3 and are being built at Orbital ATK's Gilbert facility at the same time.[5]

The launch services contract was awarded to United Launch Alliance (ULA) on 3 March 2017.[6]


JPSS-2 is scheduled to launch on 1 November 2022[1] on an Atlas V 401 rocket from Vandenberg Space Launch Complex 3 (SLC-3E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.[6][7][8]


The JPSS-2 sensors/instruments are:[2]

Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS)

The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) is a cross-track scanner with 22 channels. It provides sounding observations needed to retrieve atmospheric moisture and temperature profiles for real-time civilian weather forecasting and to provide continuity of these measurements for climate monitoring. It is a lighter-weight version of the previous Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) and Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) instruments flown on previous NOAA and NASA satellites with no new performance capabilities.[9]

Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS)

The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument will be used to produce high-resolution, three-dimensional moisture, pressure, and temperature profiles. These profiles will help scientists to enhance weather forecasting models, and will be used in both short- and long-term weather forecasting. They will help improve the understanding of regular climate phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña. This is a brand-new instrument with breakthrough performance.[10] CrIS represents a significant enhancement over NOAA's legacy infrared sounder — High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) and is meant to be a counterpart to the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI).

Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS)

The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) is a suite of three hyperspectral instruments that is extending the 25-plus year total-ozone and ozone-profile records. Ozone-assessment researchers and policy makers use these records to track the health of the ozone layer. Better testing and monitoring of the complex chemistry involved in ozone destruction near the troposphere is made possible by the improved vertical resolution of OMPS data products. OMPS products, when used with cloud predictions, also produce better ultraviolet index forecasts.[11] OMPS carries on a long tradition of space borne measurements of ozone beginning in 1970 with the Nimbus 4 satellite and continuing with the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SBUV and SBUV/2), Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) instruments on various NASA, NOAA, and international satellites. Over the more than 30-year period in which these instruments have been operating, they have provided a very detailed and important long-term record of the global distribution of ozone.[12]

Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) takes global visible and infrared observations of land, ocean, and atmosphere parameters at high temporal resolution. Developed from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument flown on the Aqua and Terra Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites, it has significantly better performance than the Advanced very-high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR) previously flown on NOAA satellites.[13] VIIRS Focal Planes were manufactured by Raytheon Vision Systems in Santa Barbara, CA

Discontinued instruments

Radiation Budget Instrument (RBI)

The Radiation Budget Instrument (RBI) was a planned scanning radiometer capable of measuring Earth's reflected sunlight and emitted thermal radiation. RBI was to fly on JPSS-2, but it experienced significant technical issues and substantial cost growth. Because of these challenges, and the low risk of experiencing a gap in this data record due to having two relatively new instruments in orbit at the time, NASA decided to discontinue development of RBI.[3] RBI struggled from the beginning. It was originally to be on NOAA's proposed Polar Free Flyer satellite, but in 2014, Congress, led by its Republican majority, refused to fund the satellite. After moving the instrument to JPSS-2 and awarding the contract for development in June 2014,[14] NASA almost immediately began the process of dropping the sensor. NASA halted development in 2015 citing cost and technical concerns.[15] In 2017, it was defunded in the Trump administration's first budget because of "schedule and technical difficulties".[16] RBI got a brief reprieve when the Senate stated that if NASA determined that RBI could be ready for inclusion on the Joint Polar Satellite System 2 (JPSS-2) spacecraft and stay within budget it could continue with reprogrammed funding.[17] But on 26 January 2018, NASA announced their intention to discontinue development of RBI and shortly thereafter it was again left unfunded in the Trump administration's FY 2019 budget.[3][18]


  1. ^ a b c "NOAA's JPSS-2 Mission Has New Launch Date". NESDIS. NOAA. 31 May 2022. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Joint Polar Satellite System: Mission and Instruments". NASA. Retrieved 14 November 2017. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b c "NASA Cancels Earth Science Sensor Set for 2021 Launch". 26 January 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "Orbital ATK Wrests JPSS Business From Ball". SpaceNews. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  5. ^ Datta, Anasuya (20 March 2018). "Orbital ATK to start manufacturing Landsat 9 as spacecraft passes critical design review". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b Cole, Steve (3 March 2017). "NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Mission". NASA. Retrieved 13 April 2018. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ "JPSS Launch". Retrieved 8 June 2018. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ Marder, Jenny (3 July 2019). "Inflatable Decelerator Will Hitch a Ride on the JPSS-2 Satellite". NOAA. Retrieved 30 October 2019. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  9. ^ The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center Retrieved 22 June 2017 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ "The Cross-track Infrared Sounder" Archived August 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center Retrieved 22 June 2017
  11. ^ "Ozone Mapper Profiler Suite". NASA. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2017. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. ^ "Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS)". Archived from the original on 20 April 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  13. ^ "The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite" NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center Retrieved 22 June 2017
  14. ^ Scharmann, Rachel (3 June 2014). "Exelis Secures Contract for NASA Radiation Budget Instrument". Satellite Today. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  15. ^ "NASA Weather Satellite Procurement Telegraphed Issue with Climate Sensor". SpaceNews. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  16. ^ Wall, Mike (24 May 2017). "Trump's 2018 Budget Request Axes 5 NASA Earth-Science Missions". Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  17. ^ Foust, Jeff (27 June 2017). "Senate restores funding for NASA Earth science and satellite servicing programs". SpaceNews. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  18. ^ Wall, Mike (12 February 2018). "Trump's 2019 NASA Budget Request Puts Moon Ahead of Space Station". Retrieved 14 February 2018.