The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Defense (DoD), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are jointly acquiring the next-generation weather and environmental satellite system; the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). NPOESS replaces the current Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) managed by NOAA and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) managed by the DoD. The NPOESS satellites carry a suite of up to 14 sensors that collect meteorological, oceanographic, climatological, and solar-geophysical observations of the earth, atmosphere, and space. The ground data processing segment for NPOESS is the Interface Data Processing Segment (IDPS), developed by Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems. The IDPS processes NPOESS satellite data to provide environmental data products to NOAA and DoD processing centers operated by the United States government. The IDPS will process environmental data products beginning with the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) in late 2006 and continuing through the lifetime of the NPOESS system. The IDPS must process a data volume significantly greater than the current POES and DMSP systems and within significantly reduced processing times. This paper will describe the architecture approach to hardware and software that is necessary to meet these challenging NPOESS IDPS design requirements.