Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s VIIRS Sensor and Common Ground System Set to Expand Earth Observation Capabilities for NOAA

NASA successfully launched NOAA’s latest polar satellite, the Joint Polar Satellite System-2, into orbit. JPSS-2 carries Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite sensor and is controlled by RI&S’ JPSS Common Ground System.

From 500 miles above the Earth, VIIRS collects day-and-night imagery across twenty-two different bands of light to characterize emerging storm patterns and generates high-fidelity sea, land, and atmospheric data for a variety of applications, including monitoring of wildfires, droughts, floods, vegetation health, algal blooms, and nighttime phenomena.

“VIIRS gives us the big picture,” said Edmond Chung, VIIRS program manager for Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “This latest instrument will expand NOAA’s Earth observation capabilities, enhance forecasting and help us all better understand how our planet is changing.”

The JPSS-2 satellite joins the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite and NOAA-20, previously known as JPSS-1, in polar orbit. These satellites circle the Earth from the North Pole to the South Pole 14 times daily, delivering critical weather data for both short- and long-term forecasting.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s JPSS Common Ground System controls the entire constellation. Composed of a global network of ground antennas and high-performance computers, JPSS-CGS provides mission planning, command and control, and cloud-based data processing for all JPSS satellites. Additionally, JPSS-CGS also delivers data to partner weather and climate satellite systems controlled by the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, the U.S. Space Force, and the Japan Exploration Aerospace Agency.

“From monitoring severe weather to agricultural planning, CGS is a critical system for everyday life,” said Anthony Serhal, CGS program manager for Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “Most people don’t realize it, but the data CGS collects, processes, and delivers informs the majority of U.S. weather forecasts. This is truly a program that matters to all of us.”

VIIRS is manufactured at RI&S’ facilities in El Segundo, California.

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