Harris Payload on NOAA’s JPSS 1 to Improve Forecasting Accuracy

Harris Corporation's Cross-track Infrared Sounder will support extended weather forecasts aboard the JPSS 1 satellite. Photo: Harris.

Harris Corporation’s Cross-track Infrared Sounder will support extended weather forecasts aboard the JPSS 1 satellite. Photo: Harris.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System 1 (JPSS 1), scheduled to launch Nov. 10, will carry an advanced Harris Corporation environmental measurement instrument to improve U.S. weather forecasting. Harris’ Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), one of the main payloads in NOAA’s polar weather satellite program, will help improve forecasting accuracy by measuring and feeding millions of atmospheric data points into weather forecast models, the company stated.

CrIS is a hyperspectral sounder that takes specific measurements of Earth’s atmosphere in more detail than older instruments. Its 2,211 infrared channels — versus 19 on earlier systems — measures significantly more light, temperature and moisture, Harris stated. It produces three-dimensional atmospheric profiles of the entire Earth and enables meteorologists to extend more accurate forecasts out to seven days.

This CrIS instrument is Harris’ second; the first is operating on the joint NOAA-NASA Suomi National Polar Partnership satellite and has proven critical to NOAA’s numerical weather prediction models. Harris also built the primary payload for NOAA’s new GOES 16 satellite, which launched in November 2016. It provides 30-second imagery refresh at four times the resolution of the last generation of weather satellites.

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