NOAA’s Next-Gen Constellation Moves Forward

Published by on 04/12/2024 UTC

As NOAA looks to the future of its weather satellite programs in the 2030s and beyond, it is making radical changes to its Low-Earth orbit (LEO) architecture in the face of emerging trends and capabilities. All current and previous LEO weather satellite programs have focused on relatively few large satellites. JPSS, the newest such system, consists of 3 satellites at a time to enable observing everywhere on earth twice per day and 5 satellites over its life (including a NASA precursor/demonstrator platform) to enable service into the early 2040s. With the rise and massive proliferation of small satellite constellations and dedicated small launch, many groups, including NOAA’s satellite branch (NESDIS), are turning to distributed architectures to accomplish their missions quicker, cheaper, and more dynamically.

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