Weather forecasts get boost in accuracy with new satellite

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The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPPS-1, was designed and built by Boulder's Ball Aerospace, and once it enters polar orbit, it will be known as NOAA-20, feeding National Weather Service models for Boulder's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Scott Asbury, program director at Ball Aerospace and formerly the JPSS-1 program manager, is among the roughly 10 Ball personnel who will be at the launch site, while about another 10 from Ball plan to be at the NASA satellite operations facility in Suitland, Md. However, this one will be different.

In its orbit, the satellite will pass over the equator about 14 times per day, and cover the globe twice every 24 hours. That was the GOES-16, which launched in November of 2016. "That might be weather off of China today but that weather will be off the Pacific Northwest of the the next several days".

The new satellite will be the most advanced polar-orbiting weather platform the USA has yet put to use, NOAA officials said, since it will carry upgraded instruments able to gather more weather information than ever before. NOAA-20 and the polar-orbiting satellites, on the other hand, get a view of the entire planet and provide a large chunk of the data that are used in weather prediction models because they get a global view.

It will also be an economic benefit for shipping lanes - guiding barges around major storms.