31. May 2012 11:50
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are using data collected by a polar-orbiting satellite launched earlier this month from a Japanese space center. The satellite is used to help forecast storms, monitor the decline of the Arctic sea ice, and predict the onset of El Nino, La Nina and other global phenomenon. The satellite Suomi NPP was launched last year by the United States to help strengthen the environmental monitoring capabilities of both countries. NOAA operates the U.S. satellite. Last year a memorandum of understanding was signed between NOAA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). An instrument on board JAXA’s Global Change Observation Mission 1- Water satellite called the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR-2), will provide NOAA data for tracking sea surface temperatures, and support near real-time weather and ocean forecasts. In return under the memorandum, NOAA will provide ground support, including ground reception of AMSR-2 data, and transmit it from Norway’s Svalbard Satellite Ground Station to JAXA and to NOAA. The satellite monitoring system is part of NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite Mission (JPSS). The JPSS is the Nation’s next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system, and represents significant technological and scientific advances in environmental monitoring. The system is designed to help advance environmental, weather, climate, and oceanographic science. Scientists will be able to forecast, monitor and predict weather patterns with greater speed and accuracy. The program is also key to long-standing climate measurements that will allow for the study of long-term climate trends. JPSS will allow scientists to improve and extend climate measurements for 30 different Environmental Data records of the atmosphere, land, ocean, climate, and space environment. Scientific instruments include a Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), a Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), Advanced technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), Ozone mapping and profiler Suite (OMPS), cloud and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES), and a Total Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS).