Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has successfully completed the delta Critical Design Review for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) spacecraft.
The four-day review was held Dec. 10-13, and included more than 100 representatives from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and JPSS instrument providers. The review team congratulated the JPSS-1 team for demonstrating that the spacecraft’s development is progressing well and will be ready to provide the nation with critical environmental data when launched no later than the first quarter 2017.
The CDR delineated the design differences between JPSS-1 and its predecessor, the Ball-built Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite to allow for full-scale JPSS-1 spacecraft production. Early Production on JPSS-1 has been underway since mid-2012.
“This successful review allows Ball to initiate satellite fabrication for a program that is vital for ensuring that global weather forecasting and climate observations are not interrupted,” said David L. Taylor, Ball Aerospace president and CEO.
The JPSS operational weather system includes the satellites and sensors that support civil weather and climate measurements in the afternoon orbit, as well as a ground system. These satellites deliver approximately 90 percent of the information collected for numerical forecasting models that generate critical weather forecasts and convey warnings to the public about climate and weather events.
In addition to the spacecraft, Ball Aerospace will manufacture, test and deliver the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite sensor for JPSS-1. Both the JPSS-1 satellite bus and the OMPS instrument are similar to those for Suomi NPP, which successfully launched in October 2011 and is returning images and data that provide critical weather and climate measurements of the complex Earth system.