NOAA-M Continues Polar-Orbiting Satellite Series


The NOAA POES System in Weather Forecasting
The POES spacecraft serve as complementary satellites to the geosynchronous Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) system. Where the GOES satellites provide near-term data from the continental United States and Hawaii to NOAA's forecasters, the polar-orbiting spacecraft provide full global data for short-, medium-, and long-range forecast models, climate modeling, environmental studies and various other secondary missions.

The Future of the POES Program
Two more POES satellites will be launched after NOAA-M, NOAA-N and NOAA-N'. They have planning launch dates of June 2004 and March 2008, respectively, and will both be operated in afternoon orbits. Under an agreement with NOAA, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites will begin operating polar-orbiting satellites known as Metop in 2005 and will assume responsibility for the morning orbit. The Metop satellites will carry both US-provided and European-developed instruments. The data from these satellites will be made available to NOAA as part of the agreement.

A new generation of environmental satellites called the National Polar Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) will become operational after the POES satellites complete their mission. NPOESS is a tri-agency (NOAA, Department of Defense, NASA) program. NPOESS will provide more capable sensors for improved data collection and better weather forecasts.

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The NASA-NOAA Partnership
Spacecraft Design and Orbit Command
The NOAA POES System in Weather Forecasting and the Future

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