[Via Satellite 02-01-2016] NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has awarded Harris Corporation subsidiary Exelis Space Systems a $316 million cost-plus-award-fee contract modification to build two payloads for the fourth and fifth Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) weather satellites. The space agency awarded the contract on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is responsible for managing and operating the JPSS satellites. NASA is responsible for developing and building the JPSS instruments, spacecraft, major components of the ground segment, and launch.
Exelis is providing the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument for the Polar Follow-On extension missions JPSS 3 and JPSS 4. The instruments produce high-resolution, three-dimensional temperature, pressure and moisture profiles used to enhance weather forecasting models. The first CrIS instrument is currently operational on the joint NOAA / NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite launched in 2011. The second CrIS instrument is scheduled for launch in early 2017 onboard the JPSS 1 spacecraft, and the third is in development for the JPSS 2 spacecraft, scheduled for launch in 2021.
JPSS is a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA that ensures continuity of observational data at the quality levels needed to sustain current weather forecasts beyond 2017. NASA also recently issued a contract to Raytheon for Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensors for JPSS 3 and 4.
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