Home Polar Satellites Polar Satellites Info

Polar Satellites

OSD’s primary objective in support of environmental polar-orbiting satellite systems is to continue procurement of the spacecraft, instruments, launch services, and ground equipment necessary to maintain an uninterrupted operational polar-orbiting satellite system. To meet this goal, the Systems Engineering and Integration Division has been designated as the Nation’s civil space resource for observing meteorological and environmental events worldwide from low earth orbit. It consists of the U.S. Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and the Eumetsat Polar System (EPS), platforms for environmental observations, space monitoring, data collection, and search and rescue. In addition, it seeks to transition into operations selected NASA research satellites which support NOAA’s operational mission requirements.

Responsibilities include:

Acquisition of the polar environmental satellite systems including spacecraft, instruments, launch services, communications systems, and free-flyers
Funding the development and implementation of polar satellite products from current and future POES satellite systems
Ensuring launch and satellite check-out activities are planned in a manner that ensures adequate support while allowing for ongoing operations of existing satellites
Working with OSD Ground Systems to ensure the proper interfaces are implemented and tested between the ground and satellite systems
Implementation of NOAA responsibilities under an international cooperation agreements, e.g., with the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) with respect to their polar-satellites
Provision of climate instruments (CERES, TSIS) to NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System program
Programmatic planning for transition to operations of research missions, such as the Jason altimetry mission, and the data exploitation component of the NPP mission (NPP Data Exploitation)

The following links provide useful information on the NOAA POES spacecraft systems including current operational status of several platforms.

System Information
POES Launch Schedule
Daily Spacecraft Status
Weekly Spacecraft Status
Middle School Oriented Education


  • IJPS
  • Jason
  • NDE
  • Climate Sensor

IJPS Decal

The primary mission objective of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) is to collect and exchange polar satellite environmental data between NOAA and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and disseminate the data to users in support of operational meteorological and environmental forecasting and global climate monitoring. The environmental data collected by IJPS satellites (NOAA-N, NOAA-N’, METOP-1, METOP-2) will be both stored on-board the satellites for later downloading as well as broadcast in real-time to local user receiving stations


Jason-3 logo

Under the OSTM program NOAA will provide support from its satellite ground segment capabilities for management of the Jason-3 satellite flight operations during its routine operational phases, and to acquire, produce, and distribute geophysical data in a manner beneficial to all interested users. The Jason-3 mission represents the follow-on to the four partner (CNES, NOAA, NASA, EUMETSAT) Jason-2 mission that was launched in June 2008 to determine high precision sea surface height using measurements from a radar altimeter

Jason Page

NDE logo

The NOAA NPOESS Data Exploitation (NDE) Project manages the development and implementation of a satellite data processing and distribution system that will enhance environmental products generated by the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) and Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) next generation polar-orbiting satellite systems. NDE will be integrated into the existing NESDIS Environmental Satellite Processing System (ESPC) architecture. The value-added products will meet unique NOAA data requirements and be made available to the civilian user community.

NDE Page

The Climate Sensor Project is responsible for managing the acquisition and integration of the JPSS Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) and the Total Solar and Spectral Irradiance Sensor (TSIS) climate instruments

The CERES measurements seek to develop and improve weather forecast and climate models prediction, to provide measurements of the space and time distribution of the Earth's Radiation Budget (ERB) components, and to develop a quantitative understanding of the links between the ERB and the properties of the atmosphere and surface that define that budget.

TSIS measures the variability in the Sun's total output using two sensors. The Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) is a broadband measurement while Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) measures the spectral distribution of the solar irradiance between 0.2 & 2.7 µm.

Climate Sensor Page (inactive link)