Last Updated: 04/12/2013*

Joint Polar Satellite System Supports NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation

NOAA weather satellites are the backbone of life-saving weather forecasts and advance hazardous outlooks and its Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) represents the next great leap in weather forecasting accuracy.

Raytheon provides the technology, from space to ground, to support NOAA's important weather mission of creating a Weather-Ready Nation. Without polar-orbiting satellites and the capability to process and translate data records, online resources and local forecasters would have little-to-no information to report for forecasts beyond 48 hours.

Where do weather forecasts come from?

While the public relies on weather forecasts to make personal and business decisions daily, the average American does not know how weather data is collected and transformed into an extended forecast.

Polar-orbiting satellites provide 93 percent of the data used in the 2- to 10-day National Weather Service (NWS) forecast models. Supported by Raytheon technology in space and on the ground, JPSS provides accurate information to predict weather patterns with high confidence three days and beyond.

Infographic showing where weather forecasts come from
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VIIRS Releases First Complete Global Image from the NPP Satellite

From 512 miles above the Earth and traveling at 16,640 miles per hour, the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite recently released its first complete global image, as well as several other images. VIIRS will provide advanced imaging and radiometric capabilities aboard the NPP spacecraft and future next-generation weather satellites. NPP is a bridge mission between the current polar weather satellite system and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System.

In order to capture the daily global images, VIIRS rises from the south and set in the north on the daylight side of Earth in a sun-synchronous orbit – allowing for consistent image angles, lighting and data.  Successive orbits overlap one another throughout the day to acquire swaths measuring 1,900 miles across.  The processed result is a complete image of the globe.

Collected data will study the Earth's surface including fires, ice, ocean color, vegetation, clouds, and land and sea surface temperatures. By providing more accurate and timely weather forecasting, VIIRS will help save lives and reduce costs associated with severe storm events in the United States and around the world.

AWIPS II   Raytheon Upgrades the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System

The Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) is central to a forecaster's ability to make weather predictions that can save lives and safeguard property. Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS), AWIPS gives forecasters access to data and imagery from an array of weather sensors and satellites through interactive workstations. The system provides complex analysis and data integration, enabling forecasters at more than 130 weather forecast centers across the nation to predict weather and issue time-sensitive warnings.

Since 2005, Raytheon has partnered with NWS for the operations, maintenance and evolution of AWIPS, and has provided the integrated mission services required to sustain and enhance system performance. As the architect of the AWIPS evolution, Raytheon designed, developed and is currently testing AWIPS II, the system's next-generation software.



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