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Image: JPSS-2 Satellite

JPSS-2 Satellite

What is RBI?

Energy from the Sun is what provides humans with a climate that allows us to live on Earth. It heats the surface, warms the atmosphere, influences weather, and powers the ocean currents. NASA has been studying the Sun's energy and how it interacts with Earth's atmosphere for more than 30 years. RBI will continue to provide critical measurements of the amount of energy leaving the Earth's atmosphere.

NASA Langley Research Center's Radiation Budget Instrument (RBI) is a scanning radiometer that will help us detect imbalances in Earth's energy balance, understand the causes, and help inform policy makers so we can better protect our home planet. It measures Earth's reflected sunlight and emitted thermal radiation and will help understand the links between incoming and outgoing energy and the properties of the atmosphere and surface that affect it.

RBI measurements are combined with measurements of clouds, dust, temperature, humidity, and surface features from other satellite instruments in the Earth Observing System (EOS) link to external site and National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) link to external site to create a complete picture of the Earth's energy flow.

Continuing the CERES Legacy

There are currently six Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments on satellites orbiting Earth. RBI will provide a continuation of the CERES measurements that have been made since 1997.

Long-term, accurate data are critical to understanding Earth's energy balance. A gap in measurements would greatly decrease the accuracy of the overall data record and significantly impact our ability to observe changes.

Scientists create this long measurement record by combining data from a series of instruments that has been launched over the past 30 years. RBI will be the 14th in the series that started with the Earth radiation budget instruments launched in 1984 and most recently launching CERES FM6 in 2017 on JPSS-1.

Data from RBI will provide fundamental inputs to extended range --10-day or longer -- weather forecasting.


RBI will fly on Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) a joint program between National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. The mission is planned for 2021.

JPSS-2 will provide operational continuity of satellite-based observations and products for NOAA Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites (NPOES) and Suomi NPP satellite and ground systems. The baseline plan for JPSS Ground System will be sustained to support JPSS-2, similar to JPSS-1. The JPSS-2 spacecraft will host four other instruments in addition to RBI: VIIRS, CrIS, ATMS, OMPS-N, and RBI.

Relevant Links:     Fact Sheet link to external site     NASA’s Science Mission Directorate link to external site     Flight Project’s Directorate link to external site     JPSS-2 link to external site

  Image: NASA Logo NASA Official: Dr. Norman Loeb
Page Curator: Edward Kizer
Page Last Modified: 04/16/2018 14:41:06 EST
Site Last Modified: 04/16/2018 14:41:07 EST