BOULDER, Colo., March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has applied power to the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) spacecraft bus for the first time, a significant milestone for achieving on-time delivery to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a planned early 2017 launch.
Power-on is the first time that the spacecraft bus is operated as a system with the core Electrical Power & Distribution System (EPDS) and the integrated components of the Command & Data Handling (C&DH) subsystem. Power will be cycled on/off continuously over the next nine months of spacecraft integration and testing. "We have now demonstrated that the core avionics are successfully integrated and in good health," said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for Ball's Operational Space business unit. "Following installation and testing of satellite components and subsystems this year we'll be ready for instrument integration at the satellite level beginning in November 2014." JPSS-1 is being built and integrated at the Ball Aerospace Fisher Integration Facility, Boulder, Colorado. The satellite is making steady progress toward a 2017 launch date, most recently completing a successful SpaceWire Inter-operability test. The test was a risk reduction activity to provide early verification of the network's architecture design and implementation for high-speed communications data handling. JPSS-1 measurements are key for weather observation and continuity of long-standing environmental records that are currently provided by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite launched in 2011. JPSS-1 is the first operational version of the next generation of satellites to be managed by NOAA with NASA as the program's procurement agency. NOAA recently announced that all five instruments that will fly on the JPSS-1 satellite are now in the environmental testing phase, including the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite being built by Ball.