The Integrated Electronics Module was recently integrated on the JPSS-2 spacecraft. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)
by Peter JacobsNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
GREENBELT, Md. — In four different U.S. cities are four shipping containers, each one carrying an instrument that will travel to space to capture critical data on our planet’s weather and climate.
These are the instruments built for JPSS-2, the third satellite of NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System series, to be named NOAA-21 when it reaches orbit. Next month, the instruments will start getting shipped to the Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Ariz., to get integrated into the spacecraft.
The first instrument to make the trip will be VIIRS, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite. VIIRS is like the eyes of JPSS. It gives us infrared images of hurricanes, tells us about snow, ice cover, clouds, fog and dust, and it helps us locate and map wildfires. Its Day-Night Band, the satellite’s eyes at night, can distinguish between city lights, moonlight, lightning and auroras.
VIIRS is slated to ship to Northrop Grumman’s Gilbert, Arizona, facility in August from the Raytheon facility in El Segundo, Calif., and to go on the spacecraft in September. The instruments will be ...