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Geostationary Satellites

Geostationary satellites comprise the Nation's civil space resource for observing meteorological events in real time and providing continuous observations and communications services from space. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) provide a platform for earth environmental and solar observations, data collection and relay, search and rescue, low rate information transmission (LRIT), and other services. Responsibilities for providing acquisition and system integration oversight for the GOES spacecraft were performed by the former OSD Geostationary Program office up through 2010, when the last of the current generation of GOES spacecraft (GOES-P) was launched. The first of the next generation of geostationary satellites with greatly improved observing capabilities, the GOES-R series, is scheduled for launch in the latter half of this decade, and is being managed by the NESDIS GOES-R program office.

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GOES-N Decal GOES-O Decal GOES-P Decal

Polar Satellites

NOAA's polar-orbiting satellites monitor global environmental conditions, and collect and disseminate data related to weather, ocean, land and near-space environments. The current system, known as the Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES), has provided this capability for over 40 years under the former OSD Polar Program office. The next generation NOAA polar-orbiting satellites will be managed and launched under the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Program, with JPSS-1 (J1) and JPSS-2 (J2) scheduled for launches in 2015 and 2018, respectively. The advanced technologies aboard JPSS satellites will transmit a large data stream containing new environmental measurement data which will be packaged by the JPSS ground systems into intermediate product forms.

Responsibilities for performing the spacecraft engineering for the current fleet of NOAA POES spacecraft as well as the engineering and integration of non-NOAA polar spacecraft into NESDIS operations lie with the OSD Systems Engineering and Integration Division. The non-NOAA spacecraft systems include the European Polar System operated by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), as well as selected NASA research satellites planned for operational transition to support NOAA’s observational mission requirements.

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