The NPP sensors will provide critical data needed to answer 10 of the 23 Questions that are identified in NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Strategic Plan.
The requirements for the operational EDRs (e.g. atmospheric vertical temperature profile, sea surface temperature) were defined by the IPO, working with NASA, NOAA and DoD users. They are defined in the Integrated Operational Requirements Document (IORD). Operational algorithms have been defined by the private sector contractors developing the NPP sensors. Operational data products will be produced by the Interface Data Processing Segment (IDPS) of the EMD contractor (Engineering Manufacturing & Design contractor). Over the course of the NPP mission, these products will be refined until they meet the IORD requirements.
Many of these EDRs are also required for long-term climate research studies. Climate quality data records, known as Climate Data Records (CDRs), will be developed by the NPP science team, based primarily upon the EDRs, but incorporating such refinements as can be made taking advantage of reduced requirements for data latency (EDRs must be produced no more than 90 minutes after acquisition) and re-processing of time series with retrospective calibration and ancillary data sets.
During the initial phase of NPP (up until about 2009) a science team will examine the proposed operational algorithms and assess the utility for climate studies. They will also advise NASA on sensor calibration and data system requirements. Prior to launch, a second phase science team will be selected to assist in the validation of EDRs and produce trial data sets using CDR algorithms.
Pre-launch sensor characterization, on-orbit calibration and pre- and post-launch validation of all data products re critical to mission success. A draft calibration plan for NPP has been prepared by NASA and the IPO. This plan will be updated and combined with the plans developed by the EMD contractor.
The NPP Science groups and their responsibilities can be viewed in the Organization section.
Tropical Storm Isaac
08.28.2012 - Early on August 28, 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of Tropical Storm Isaac and the cities near the Gulf Coast of the United States. The image was acquired just after local midnight by the VIIRS "day-night band," which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses light intensification to enable the detection of dim signals. In this case, the clouds of Isaac were lit by moonlight. [go to feature]