- Laurence Russell
L3Harris infrared weather forecasting technology launches on NOAA satellite
L3Harris Technologies announced today that its Cross-Track Infrared Sounder, designed to enhance severe weather detection capabilities, successfully launched aboard NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 weather satellite.
As one of the world’s most advanced hyperspectral sounders and a key sensor on the JPSS-2 satellite, the CrIS instrument has over 2,000 infrared channels – 100 times more than its predecessor. This technology improves NOAA’s prediction of hurricanes, tornadoes and other extreme weather events and the accuracy of weather models three-to-seven days in advance by providing more precise temperature and water vapour information.
“L3Harris’ CrIS instrument enables NOAA to add greater fidelity to its severe weather forecasts and severe weather events around the world,” said Rob Mitrevski, vice president and general manager, Spectral Solutions, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. “Earlier detection and forecasting leads to earlier warning and preparation time for people potentially in harm’s way.”
Orbiting the Earth 14 times a day, the CrIS instrument onboard the JPSS-2 gathers hyperspectral, infrared content that aids NOAA in “nowcasting” and global, long-term forecasts. The CrIS also improves understanding of longer-term weather and climate phenomena and greenhouse gas concentration and transport, helping advance NOAA’s pursuit of a more weather-ready nation. The CrIS instrument, currently orbiting aboard the Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 satellites, will also fly on JPSS-3 and JPSS-4, scheduled to launch in 2027 and 2032, respectively.
The JPSS-2 launch brings together a combination of L3Harris technologies beyond the CrIS including an integral suite of rocket launch avionics, X-band and Ka-band payloads that transmit images and scientific data, and S-band transceiver uplinks that commands the spacecraft and downlinks spacecraft health information.