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NOAA 18, 19 (NOAA N, N')


The launch of the NOAA-N and -N' spacecraft will bring about a number of changes compared to the preceding NOAA KLM series of NOAA satellites. These changes are associated with: the substitution of the (MHS) for the AMSU-B instrument; replacement of HIRS/3 with HIRS/4 instrument.

Following instruments were carried on board:

  • AVHRR/3 (advanced very high resolution radiometer Version 3) for observing daytime and nighttime global cloud cover
  • ATOVS (Advanced TIROS operational vertical sounder) suite, for obtaining temperature and water-vapor profiles through the earth's atmosphere. It consists of
    • HIRS/4 (High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder Version 3)
    • AMSU-A (Microwave Sounding Unit A)
    • MHS (Microwave Humidity Sounder)
  • SEM-2 (Space environment monitor), which measured the proton and electron fluxes near the earth
  • Argos-2 (on NOAA 18) or ARGOS-3 (on NOAA 19) (DCS-2)
  • S&RSAT

Additionally the change to the Delta-7320-10C launch vehicle enables direct orbit insertion, so the solid rocket motor has been omitted in these two satellites.

NOAA N' was severly damaged in an factory accident in September 2003.

NOAA-18 and 19 are planned to be transferred to the USSF as EWS-P 1 and 2 when their spare status is dropped after the launch of JPSS-2 and 3.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Meteorology
Operator: NOAA
Contractors: Lockheed Martin Astro
Configuration: TIROS-N Bus
Propulsion: ISS
Power: Deployable solar array, batteries
Lifetime: 2 years minimum
Mass: 1419 kg on orbit
Orbit: SSO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
NOAA 18 (NOAA N) 2005-018A 20.05.2005 Va SLC-2W Delta-7320-10C
NOAA 19 (NOAA N') 2009-005A 06.02.2009 Va SLC-2W Delta-7320-10C
Further EWS missions:

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