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(SNPP and NOAA-20/JPSS-1) VIIRS Imagery and Visualization Team

The NESDIS/StAR VIIRS Imagery and Visualization Team is responsible for the checkout/validation of Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) EDR Imagery from the NASA/NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 spacecraft. JPSS-1 (NOAA-20) leads SNPP by a half orbit, or ~50 minutes.

18 November 2017 @ 09:47 UTCJPSS-1 (NOAA-20) launch
December 2017JPSS-1 renamed NOAA-20
13 December 2017 @ 16:51 UTCFirst NOAA-20 visible/reflective Imagery from NOAA-20!
3 January 2018NOAA-20 cryo-radiator door opened to allow MW/LW focal planes to cool
6 January 2018First NOAA-20 infrared/thermal Imagery at operating temperature
1 February 2018NOAA-20 EDR Imagery to Beta maturity
20 March 2018NOAA-20 EDR Imagery to Provisional maturity (KPP data release/activation on PDA)
22 August 2018NOAA-20 EDR Imagery to Validated maturity (Launch + 9 months)

The VIIRS EDR Imagery Team meets regularly on the first Tuesday of each month at 11 am Eastern, 10 am Central, 9 am Mountain, and 8 am Pacific time. Contact Don Hillger at, if you want to be added to, or removed from, the meeting announcement and agenda mailing list.

For a roster of VIIRS EDR Imagery Team members, see VIIRS_Imagery_and_Visualization_Team.xlsx.

For a list of VIIRS bands and band information, see VIIRS_bands_and_bandwidths.pdf.

For a spreadsheet of SNPP VIIRS EDR maturity levels, see EDR_Imagery_maturity_levels.xlsx.

For a Beginners Guide to VIIRS Imagery Data, see Beginner_Guide_to_VIIRS_Imagery_Data.pdf. (~1 MB) (Presentation courtesy of C. Seaman, CIRA]

For a VIIRS Imagery EDR User’s Guide, see VIIRS_Imagery_EDR_Users_Guide.pdf. (~2.5 MB) (Courtesy of C. Seaman, CIRA]

CIRA’s Seeing the Light: VIIRS in the Arctic Blog
NRL’s VIIRS Imagery
CIMSS’ Satellite Blog
StAR JPSS Website
StAR ICVS Website (Select EDR Imagery over Alaska)
SNPP Atmosphere SIPS ftp (data)

Orbital PassesReverse Chronology of NOAA-20/JPSS-1 VIIRS Imagery Significant Events
(Newest information at the top)
SNPP Reference Information/Websites
and VIIRS Imagery Documents

Orbital Passes

A SNPP orbit predictor is available from SSEC/University of Wisconsin at Starting with that main page, users have a choice of orbit tracks on higher-resolution images over the various continents.

A NOAA-20 orbit predictor is available from SSEC/University of Wisconsin at Starting with that main page, users have a choice of orbit tracks on higher-resolution images over the various continents.

Reverse Chronology of NOAA-20/JPSS-1 VIIRS Imagery Significant Events

The following sections are presented in reverse chronological order, with the newest information at the top. Older information may be outdated or superseded.

Additions to this reverse chronology section are currently suspended. Please see the Blog links above for specific examples/applications of VIIRS Imagery


D. Hillger gave presentation on VIIRS EDR Imagery at the NOAA-20 Beta Review held by the JPSS STAR Program on 25 January 2018.   The presentation was timed for the Launch + 70 day point for NOAA-20 at which the Beta maturity level was specified, which is a much shorter period than the time allowed for the checkout for S-NPP, which carried the first VIIRS instrument. Imagery issues noted were striping in I3 Imagery due to a bad detector, which did not make the Imagery unusable.  Also, a large number (~80%) of I4 and I5 granules were missing due to a temperature threshold in the look-up-tables (LUTs) for these bands.  Issues with all of these I bands should be fixed by the end of January when new LUTs are to be installed thanks to the VIIRS SDR Team. Otherwise, the Imagery that was checked seemed to be of good quality and qualifies for Beta maturity, allowing the data to flow downstream, so that distribution systems can be tested.  

Example of NOAA-20 VIIRS Near Constant Contrast (NCC) Imagery over northern Africa on 22 January 2018 (courtesy of C. Seaman, CIRA).  NCC takes the many-order-of-magnitude Day/Night Band (DNB) Imagery and converts it into a pseudo-albedo NCC that is more user-friendly for AWIPS use by the NWS:


VIIRS I-band and M-band Imagery has been mostly fill values since the opening of the VIIRS nadir door. It appears that a Look-Up-Table (LUT) was at fault for the lack of VIIRS Imagery from the I and M bands. That LUT is scheduled to be replaced either today or as soon as possible, otherwise some VIIRS Imagery is coming in when the temperature threshold allows. In the meantime, the VIIRS SDR Team worked to update that LUT offline to make a First-Light true-color image, which was posted by NESDIS at

See also for NOAA-20 VIIRS day-night-band Imagery.

A slide from today’s Cal/Val Leads Meeting about the VIIRS data since the opening of the nadir door follows:

From initial reports, stray light in the NOAA-20 DNB appears to be similar to that from SNPP. A software fix will eventually be available for NOAA-20, like it is for SNPP.

For examples of NOAA-20 first-light VIIRS (and other satellite) Imagery see

An DNB image of the US CONUS created by S. Miller, CIRA, follows:


Non-Rayleigh corrected true-color Imagery created by W. Straka, CIMSS/SSEC, follows:


The VIIRS LUTs needed to restore VIIRS Imagery that was mostly fill values have been installed in the operational strings today! A Rayleigh corrected true-color Imagery created by C. Seaman, CIRA, follows:

Two slides from a PowerPoint presentation by C. Seaman on his initial analysis of VIIRS EDR I-band Imagery follows:


The following DNB animation of a cold front passing through southern Canada (near Regina, Saskatchewan) was taken 2 January 2018, the day after full-moon. One can easily detect the lack of terrain correction that results in shifts in the locations of features between the SNPP and NOAA-20 (JPSS-1) Imagery from different satellite viewing angles. However, note the movement of the low pressure system as it elongates and moves to the south/southeast. With two satellites, SNPP and JPSS-1, the same area can be viewed at a reduced temporal interval, within ~43 minutes of each other. (Courtesy of J. Torres, CIRA)

SNPP Imagery and Visualization Site (Archived)

VIIRS Imagery Documents

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