FIGURE 1.1 The NPOESS Preparatory Project and NPOESS program summary prior to the June 2006 Nunn-McCurdy program review and revisions. With the exception of CrIS, ATMS, and SESS, all key operational instruments, including SARSAT and ADCS, were intended to be flown on all three orbits. Climate and research-oriented sensors were generally designated a spot on a single satellite at any one time. The overall NPOESS constellation was designed as a stand-alone system, with the European series of MetOp satellite viewed as a separate, independent, complementary system. SOURCE: Courtesy of NOAA.

Costs for NOAA’s next generation of geostationary weather satellites, GOES-R, had also risen dramatically, and in September 2006 NOAA canceled plans to incorporate a key instrument on the spacecraft—HES (Hyperspectral Environmental Suite). HES consisted of two components: an advanced hyperspectral sounder and a coastal waters imager. The hyperspectral sounder was intended to greatly advance current operational geostationary sounding capability; its cancellation will instead end the long-term geostationary sounding record started by GOES-I. The coastal waters imager component was planned primarily to benefit coastal monitoring, management, and remediation applications. The complexity associated with combining both the hyperspectral sounding and the coastal waters imagery components into a single instrument is frequently cited as the key factor affecting programmatic risk for GOES-R.

In this report, the ad hoc Committee on a Strategy to Mitigate the Impact of Sensor Descopes and Demanifests on the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft reviews these recent changes to the NPOESS and GOES-R program and, as requested by NASA and NOAA (see Appendix A):

  1. Prioritizes capabilities, especially those related to climate research, that were lost or placed at risk following recent changes to NPOESS and the GOES-R series of polar and geostationary environmental monitoring satellites; and

  2. Presents strategies to recover these capabilities.

In preparing this report, the committee drew heavily on information gathered at a 3-day National Research Council (NRC) workshop, “Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft,”

Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS)-Nadir; and the Space Environment Monitor (SEM). The certified program does not fund the following sensors: Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor (APS), Total Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS); OMPS-Limb; Earth Radiation Budget Sensor (ERBS); Altimeter (ALT); Survivability Sensor (SuS); and Full Space Environment Sensors (SESS). At the time the Nunn-McCurdy certified program was announced, it was also stated that the program would plan for and fund the integration of the demanifested sensors onto the satellite buses, if the sensors were provided from outside the program.

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