JPSS Proving Ground Activities
View a map detailing SPoRT's JPSS PG partners.
RGB composite images offer the possibility of compressing multi-spectral information content for optimum visualisation.
Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) builds on MODIS and AVHRR heritage, and provides high radiometric accuracy and spatial resolution multispectral imagery.
While the use of geostationary satellite data by WFOs across the country is paramount in importance for improved situational awareness and nowcasting, it has been demonstrated that the unique spectral and spatial resolution polar orbiting data (such as the high resolution imagery and sounding products from MODIS and AIRS on the NASA Terra and Aqua satellites) can complement the geostationary data to address numerous CONUS forecast challenges. In the OCONUS region, polar orbiting data plays an even greater role in providing timely, high resolution observations for improved situational awareness, short-term forecasts, and warnings. Continued effective use of polar orbiting data is absolutely essential for accurate forecasting and warning at high latitudes. Insert details.
The first satellite in the JPSS series, the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP), was launched on 11 October 2011 (view launch video). Current plans include only limited downlink of stored data from the NPP satellite (producing some latency in data products). The IDPS (Interface Data Processing Segment)/NESDIS production of a suite of 29 Environmental Data Records (EDR/Level 2 products) from the downlinked data stream from NPP instruments will be provided to NOAA National Centers for use in their forecast models; however, timely product delivery to WFOs to address various forecast challenges is not currently planned. One solution is to use the direct broadcast capability of the NPP to provide real-time imagery and selected derived products for regional applications.
The use of real-time VIIRS data to help address forecast issues at WFOs is quite exciting. While VIIRS has many (but not all) of the spectral channels of MODIS, spectral channel differences, channel cross-talk, and global algorithm design differences may contribute to some uncertainty of the applicability of VIIRS EDRs to the various forecast problems at the WFOs. These limitations need to be better understood in the context of forecast operations. New observing capabilities of the night-time low-light sensor may have many undiscovered applications as well. As a result, there is a need to evaluate the utility of NPP EDRs in the forecast environment as a risk reduction activity, demonstrating the utility of the EDRs, and training of forecasters on the interpretation and use of the new operational data on weather forecast operations. This web page describes an effort to leverage existing programs, resources, and expertise at SPoRT and their existing collaborative partners to speed up the use of NPP and JPSS data in NWS operations, and provide a valuable feedback loop between algorithm developers and operational forecasters.
The objective of this coordinated activity is to draw on the strengths and experience of SPoRT and its regional partners and NESDIS to demonstrate the utility of NPP Sensor Data Records (SDR/Level 1 products) and EDRs to address forecast challenges at selected CONUS and OCONUS WFOs, and to identify strengths and weaknesses in the use of the VIIRS data based on differences from MODIS and GOES-R ABI capabilities. Real-time SDRs will be obtained from various direct broadcast ground stations for regional coverage, and the Naval Research Lab (NRL) in Monterey and the NOAA Fairbanks CDA ground station (which will ingest complete orbital passes) for global coverage. Near real-time products will be obtained from the IDPS / NESDIS, the Naval Research Lab (NRL), and other product producers (such as UW/CIMSS) and made available to selected WFOs, RFCs, and AAWU. SPoRT will engage its collaborative partners, including the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and the Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA), to help evaluate and assess the utility of the data and products to address regional forecast challenges at selected WFOs. The WFOs will provide comprehensive feedback on the utility of the products being evaluated. The impact of the use of these data and products will be shared across the NWS, better preparing forecasters for the use of these new polar orbiting measurements in years to come.
SPoRT will use established collaborative partnerships to disseminate VIIRS data and products to various WFOs to engage forecasters in an evaluation of selected products to address specific forecast challenges. In the CONUS region, the primary focus will be on products which address challenging forecast issues related to convective storm diagnostics, reduction in visibility and ceilings, and unpredicted variations in regional weather due to local surface forcing. The lack of mid-tropospheric water vapor and carbon dioxide channels (like those on MODIS and ABI) may limit the detection of cloud properties and fog, but the better spatial resolution of the imagery (over AVHRR or GOES) should provide additional value and provide good detection of TPW and aerosols. The infrared window channels should be useful for detecting wildfires and surface parameters such as land surface temperature and the visible channels will be used to monitor vegetation and snow cover changes. In OCONUS, atmospheric and cloud products will be evaluated to address nowcasting issues with additional emphasis on ocean products, particularly SST, ocean color, ice characterization, and snow cover.
|Forecast Challenge||Products||Regional Emphasis|
|Convective storm diagnostics||SDRs, RGB products, cloud properties, cloud-top height, TPW, lightning||
CONUS: selected SR and CR WFOs
OCONUS: AK and HI
|Visibility and ceilings: day and night changes with local variability||SDRs, RGB products, cloud products (base, cover, layers), low cloud/fog/snow discrimination, and AOT, glacier dust||
CONUS: selected SR and CR WFOs
|Various marine weather issues: sea ice dynamics, freezing sea spray, winds, visibility, etc.||SDRs, RGB products, SST, ocean color, sea ice mapping and characterization||Alaska Region|
|Local surface forcing: local temperature forecasts, flooding due to snow melt/runoff||SDRs, RGB products, LST, snow cover / depth||
CONUS: CR and WR WFOs
Key to the successful use of satellite data by WFOs is the integration of these data and products into AWIPS/AWIPS II and other decision support systems. Currently, SPoRT and GINA (and several of the NOAA Cooperative Institutes) bring unique MODIS, AIRS, and GOES-R ABI proxy products directly into AWIPS for use by forecasters. SPoRT is developing AWIPS II plug-ins to bring these and other unique products into the AWIPS II environment for use by forecasters. These plug-ins will be modified for VIIRS data and products.
Training and Assessment: Educating the forecasters on the use of these products and capabilities of VIIRS is important to the successful use of the products in the WFO environment. SPoRT will develop and provide forecaster-appropriate training on these products that complement existing VIIRS and RGB product training. SPoRT will draw on its experience in developing training modules with MODIS data keeping the modules focused on communicating proper application, and product strengths, weaknesses, and shortcomings. The WFOs will also participate in a coordinated assessment of the utility of the products in their forecast environment. Feedback will be obtained through short usage surveys, filled out by forecasters at the end of their shift, regular collaboration calls, blog posts, and personal communications. The feedback will be integrated into assessment reports.
Download a presentation by Dr. Gary Jedlovec titled "SPoRT Applications of Suomi NPP Data" (*.pptx, 14 MB)