The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) will feature the Visible-Infrared Imager-Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), a 22-channel imager that will contribute to nearly half of the NPOESS environmental data records. Included on VIIRS will be the Day/Night band (DNB), a visible channel designed to image the Earth and its atmosphere in all conditions ranging from bright solar illumination, to nocturnal lunar illumination, and negligible external illumination. Drawing heritage from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) instruments orbiting since the late 1960s, the DNB will be used to detect clouds at night, understand patterns of urban development based on the emissions of cities, monitor fires, and image scenes of snow and ice at the surface of the Earth. Thanks to significant engineering improvements, the DNB will produce superior capabilities to the OLS for a number of new applications.

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Footnotes

Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California

Raytheon Corporation, Santa Barbara, California

UCAR/COMET, Boulder, Colorado