New Primary GOES-R instrument will provide even better satellite imagery than Gore’s old ‘Triana’ satellite idea

goes-rImager will provide greater detail to forecasters

- video follows

A key instrument that will fly on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R (GOES-R) spacecraft, NOAA’s next-generation of geostationary satellites, is cleared for installation on the spacecraft.

The Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, is GOES-R’s primary instrument for scanning Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment and is a significant improvement over instruments on NOAA’s current geostationary satellites. The ABI will offer faster imaging with much higher detail. It will also introduce new forecast products for severe weather, volcanic ash advisories, fire and smoke monitoring and other hazards.

“The United States is home to some of the most severe weather in the world including tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms, floods, and wildfires,” said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. “The ABI offers breakthrough technology that will help NOAA develop faster and more accurate forecasts that will save lives and protect communities.”

The first satellite in the GOES-R Series is currently scheduled for launch in early 2016. GOES-R’s instruments will also feature improved lightning detection and solar weather monitoring tools, and will provide near real time data to forecasters during severe weather events.

The ABI has two scan modes. It will have the ability to continuously take an image of the entire planet, or a full disk image, every five minutes compared to every 30 minutes with the current GOES imager. It also has an alternative, or flex mode, which will concurrently take a full disk image every 15 minutes, an image of the continental U.S. every five minutes, and smaller, more detailed images of areas where storm activity is present, as often as every 30 seconds. This kind of flexibility and increased frequency of images is a boon for forecasters.

In early 2014 the ABI will be shipped from its developer, Exelis, in Ft. Wayne, Ind., to the spacecraft developer, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Littleton, Colo., to be installed onto the first GOES-R spacecraft. Lockheed is building the spacecraft for the GOES-R series.

The remaining GOES-R instruments to be delivered are:

  • Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which will provide continuous surveillance for the first time of total lightning activity from geostationary orbit over the western hemisphere;
  • Space Environment In-Situ Suite, which consists of sensors that will monitor radiation hazards that can affect satellites, radio communications and navigation systems;
  • Solar Ultraviolet Imager, a high-powered telescope that observes the sun, monitoring for solar flares and other solar activity that could impact Earth by disrupting power utilities communication and navigation systems and causing damage to orbiting satellites and the International Space Station; and
  • Magnetometer, which will provide measurements of the magnetic field surrounding Earth that protects the planet from charged particles released from the sun. These particles can be dangerous to spacecraft and human spaceflight. The geomagnetic field measurements will provide alerts and warnings to satellite operators and power utilities.

A sixth instrument, the Extreme X-Ray Irradiance Sensor (EXIS), was completed in May 2013 and was the first of GOES-R’s instruments to be ready for integration. EXIS will provide important early warnings of impending solar storms and give scientists a more accurate measure of the power of solar energy radiating toward earth, which can severely disrupt telecommunications, air travel and the performance of power grids.

NOAA manages the GOES-R Series program through an integrated NOAA-NASA office, staffed with personnel from both agencies and located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and our other social media channels. Visit our news release archive.

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This advanced satellite, its rapid 5 minute whole Earth imaging, and its high resolution, pretty much does everything Al Gore’s old satellite idea, Triana, promised, but better, while providing a platform for many more useful instruments.

Wikipedia says of Triana:

The satellite’s original purpose was to provide a near-continuous view of the entire Earth and make that live image available via the Internet. Gore hoped not only to advance science with these images, but also to raise awareness of the Earth itself, updating the influential The Blue Marble photograph taken by Apollo 17.

Translation: an expensive live screen saver.

Triana’s parts are being recycled into DSCOVR, now set to launch in 2015.

This video shows what the ABI instrument can do:

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35 Responses to New Primary GOES-R instrument will provide even better satellite imagery than Gore’s old ‘Triana’ satellite idea

  1. How long before NOAA announces that the new data shows Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice to be lower than current satellites?

  2. Is the onboard instrumentation “calibrated” to indicate rampant warming so the data don’t need to be adjusted later?

  3. Jquip says:

    Who wants to start a dead pool for the first instrument malfunction?

  4. Mac the Knife says:

    What Wikipedia should say of Triana:
    Triana’s original purpose was to provide a near-continuous view of Al Gore’s ego from geostationary orbit and make that live image available via the Interweb that he invented.

    MtK

  5. Nick says:

    Vinz Clortho and Zuul will be happy.

  6. Bryan A says:

    TPTB should have labeled it the “Advanced Linear Inversion Baseline Imager” then they would at least have an ALIBI for improper measurements

  7. Andrew Kerber says:

    When did wildfires become severe weather?

    “The United States is home to some of the most severe weather in the world including tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms, floods, and wildfires,” said Mary Kicza,

  8. I hope their data can lead to them producing those useful IR image maps highlighting urban heat islands.

  9. Max Hugoson says:

    Conservative right wing Neanderthal here: Defending Al Gore. He DID NOT SAY HE INVENTED THE INTERNET. It was a campaign interview in 1998 with Wolf Blitzer, and in response to a question on his “significant accomplishments in congress he said, “When I helped INITIATE the Internet…” Although broad in scope, it is TECHNICALLY TRUE as he did participate in the initiative to fund DARPA NET and make it public.

    So now, when anyone claims that “conservatives tell just their side…so we liberals can do that too”, I say NO there are standards of truth, and no justification about distorting or lying about your opposition…because they are your opposition.

    Al has ENOUGH “untruths” to suffice to a life time, without fabricating them.

  10. Viktor says:

    Technology is starting to have a huge impact on climate, hopefully not in a negetive way…

    http://climal.com/Environmental-Adaptation-Through-Technology.php

  11. Aphan says:

    I thought that name sounded familiar…..Gozer…wasn’t that the Sumarian God in Ghost Busters? LOL
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332/plotsummary
    Happy Halloween all!

  12. Nick says:

    Aphan, look up. ;)

  13. M Courtney says:

    Nick,
    Yeah, I was trying to get a ‘sensor interference from crossed beams’ joke to work but you got there first.
    Sigh.

  14. Jack says:

    Triana wasn’t an idea – it was a real satellite that was built and shipped to KSC where it remains today in storage. Bush 2 canceled the funding for launching it. Wasting a perfectly good EO satellite that was state of the art at the time.

  15. milodonharlani says:

    Max Hugoson says:
    October 31, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    The first ARPANET message was sent in Oct 1969 between UCLA & Stanford Research Institute. In March 1970, the ARPANET reached the US East Coast of the United States. The number of sites with small computers called Interface Message Processors (IMPs, today known as routers) grew rapidly.

    In 1973 a transatlantic satellite link connected the Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR) to the ARPANET, making Norway the first country outside the US to be connected to the network. At about the same time a terrestrial circuit added a London IMP.

    In 1975, the ARPANET was declared “operational”. The Defense Communications Agency took control, since ARPA was intended to fund advanced research.

    Prince Albert wasn’t in Congress until 1977, a freshman Representative. What Fat Albert called “the information superhighway”, which he likened to his dad’s interstate highway system, is not what became the Internet. He foresaw government control. If there is an “initiator” other than the US Defense Department from 1968-75, it was Briton Tim Berners-Lee, who created the Web at CERN.

  16. DAV says:

    “It will have the ability to continuously take an image of the entire planet, or a full disk image, every five minutes compared to every 30 minutes with the current GOES imager. ”

    The entire planet every 5 minutes? Wouldn’t that require an orbital period of 5 minutes? I suspect these are garbled specs.

  17. DAV says:

    Jack says: October 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm
    “Triana wasn’t an idea – it was a real satellite that was built and shipped to KSC where it remains today in storage. Bush 2 canceled the funding for launching it. Wasting a perfectly good EO satellite that was state of the art at the time.”

    I worked on Triana. No it wasn’t.

  18. Eli Rabett says:

    [SNIP - Eli aka Josh Halpern, while I've tolerated a lot from you here and elsewhere for quite some time, I'm done with you and your snarky attitude and serial denigration of me. Welcome to the world of tipping points. -Anthony]

  19. Brian H says:

    Dav;
    The entire half a planet (hemisphere)?
    ;)

  20. KevinK says:

    DAV wrote;

    “The entire planet every 5 minutes? Wouldn’t that require an orbital period of 5 minutes? I suspect these are garbled specs.”

    Yes, those specs are “garbled” at best. The Weather Satellites are “Geo-Sync”, they stay at one place above the Earth (and rotate in sync with the Earth). “The entire planet every 5 minutes” really means “A picture of one half of the planet” every five minutes. Since the satellite is “centered” over the CONUS the best detail is where most people live. The detail at the poles (and the edges away from the US, i.e. the Atlantic and Pacific) is “poorer”.

    These units take a while to form a complete image of that portion of the Earth visible from a fixed location above the surface. They are essentially a “flying-spot” scanner, there is a movable mirror that scans the visible surface and collects the optical energy onto a single photo diode (a very fancy once that can discern energy in multiple “bands” (visible and multiple IR bands)). Since the mirror must move and sweep across the imaged surface it takes a while to “form” an image.

    The other Earth imaging satellites (like those that collect the Google Earth images, for example the Digital Globe satellites) are known as “push-broom” scanners”. A linear array of photo diodes collect the energy across all the imaged spots along a line on the surface (think of the bristles in a wide push broom). Then the satellite “pushes” the line of photo diodes along the surface as it orbits the Earth. This orbit takes a few hours and new image data from almost the entire surface is available every few days. The broom is not wide enough to “sweep” the entire surface on each pass but it “shifts” over a little bit after each pass so every couple of days or so it passes over the same spot on the surface.

    So the Digital Globe satellites can provide mostly visible image data from anyplace on the surface every couple of days. The Weather satellites (GEOS) can provide image data (with multiple spectral signals) every 5-30 minutes or so, but only over one area of the Earth’s surface. Some Asian countries (S. Korea) are in the process of acquiring their own weather satellites.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  21. David Riser says:

    GOES-R is a geostationary satellite so it can only see the earth as viewed from its orbital height and would only be able to “see” the same part (nearly half) of the globe at any given time.

  22. Jack says:

    Dav – obviously Terra and the DoD KH birds have more capabilities. But overall, Triana was a very good EO sat that would have done good EO science and should have been launched. That it was not was for purely political reasons of the worst kind.

  23. Jim Watt says:

    it is enlightening to see the cynical view points
    they echo my thoughts
    just another way to make the thirty’s colder and the ninety’s warmer

  24. _Jim says:

    Jack says October 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Triana wasn’t an idea – it was a real satellite that was built and shipped to KSC where it remains today in storage. Bush 2 canceled the funding for launching it. Wasting a perfectly good EO satellite that was state of the art at the time.

    Meanwhile, in alternate reality we find:

    In 1999, NASA’s Inspector General reported that “the basic concept of the Triana mission was not peer reviewed”, and “Triana’s added science may not represent the best expenditure of NASA’s limited science funding.”

    The Inspector General’s report can be found here:

    “Assessment of the Triana Mission, G-99-013, Final Report”
    http://oig.nasa.gov/old/inspections_assessments/g-99-013.pdf

    Say, what years was Bush II *actually* in office?

    .

  25. _Jim says:

    Warwick Hughes says October 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I hope their data can lead to them producing those useful IR image maps highlighting urban heat islands.

    Those ‘island’ areas are ‘visible’/observable via LW IR sensors already, if one just knows where to look …

    .

  26. _Jim says:

    DAV says October 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    “It will have the ability to continuously take an image of the entire planet, or a full disk image, every five minutes compared to every 30 minutes with the current GOES imager. ”

    The entire planet every 5 minutes? Wouldn’t that require an orbital period of 5 minutes? I suspect these are garbled specs.

    The key words here are: “a full disk image”.

    The ‘image of the entire planet’ part is PR-speak to the public who would not grasp the significance of “a full disk image”.

    GOES “Full Disk Images”: http://www.goes.noaa.gov/goesfull.html

    .

  27. gbaikie says:

    It seems a bit confusing. If at L-1, it will see US when US in daylight. And constantly see the entire world while rotates into daylight.
    If at GEO, it can be over one spot, and will see night and day. So at GEO it can always look at US [and North and South America].
    So which is it?
    Video clip seems to indicate it will be in GEO.
    “DSCOVR will orbit at the L1 libration point — where the sun’s and Earth’s gravitational pull cancels – approximately one million miles away from Earth towards the sun. At that location, the satellite will measure solar storms before they reach the planet.”
    Indicates L-1.
    As does wiki.

  28. gbaikie says:

    Forgot link:
    http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/dscovr-mission-moves-forward-to-2015-launch/#.UnNr51PU3zZ
    for:
    “DSCOVR will orbit at the L1 libration point — where the sun’s and Earth’s gravitational pull cancels – approximately one million miles away from Earth towards the sun. At that location, the satellite will measure solar storms before they reach the planet.”

    Oh, and there is large difference in distance between GEO and L-point 1.
    “35,786 km”- wiki
    Earth/Sun L-1 is about about 4 times further than the Moon [about 1.5 million km- but L-1 is huge region]
    Earth/Moon L-1 is about 70,000 km near to us than Moon- less than moon distance. But stays with the Moon- you would see night and day Earth, globally. But this isn’t what they mean.

  29. Eli Rabett says:

    Dear Tony

    Pointing out that the hardware on TRIANA (now called DSCVR) is about 12 years old and it would be nice to have better hardware after 12 years is snarky? Puzzled in DC inquires.

    Pointing out that DSCVR will sit out at L1 where it has a full view of the Earth’s orb while GOES-R will be geostationary where it does not quite is snarky? Puzzled in DC inquires.

    Pointing out that the AMSU-2 uses microwaves and that GOES-R will be primarily visible and Near iR is snarky? Puzzled in DC inquires.

    [REPLY: it has to to with your behavior elsewhere that I observed about the same time. I simply don't want to engage with you anymore. Your contempt, snark, and serial denigration of me, as I said, has reached a tipping point - Anthony]

  30. Box of Rocks says:

    So will they still fix the data from the satellite that does not agree with their world view?

  31. Chris R. says:

    To gbaikie:

    The original discussed, Triana, was intended to be in a “halo orbit” around the L1 point.
    Thus, it would have viewed the entire sunlit hemisphere. Triana’s primary mission was
    to have been Earth observation. However, the L1 point is about 280 Earth radii out
    toward the Sun–thus, attitude control might very well have limited imaging data. Within
    NASA–well, remember a deputy project scientist commenting with deep disgust on the
    “Announcement of Opportunity (AO)” for Triana, that “…there is no launch budget.
    The AO says that the expectation is that a public-spirited corporation will fund the
    launch.” The implication this deputy project sicentist left me with was that there had
    never been such a weak AO.

    The missions where L1 halo orbits are really great are solar observatory
    satellites and interplanetary magnetic field observatory satellites, such as SOHO, ACE,
    and the like. DSCOVR was the re-purposing of Triana as a primarily Sun-observing
    spacecraft.

  32. _Jim says:

    Eli Rabett says November 1, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Pointing out that the AMSU-2 uses microwaves and that GOES-R will be primarily visible and Near iR is snarky? Puzzled in DC inquires.

    Hmmm … the foregoing does not appear to be entirely correct regarding GOES-R and “IR”.

    Please note and update your knowledge base as you may see fit; in particular note the capability of GOES-R for IR spectra down into the LWIR region to around 13.6 um:
    http://www.goes-r.gov/spacesegment/ABI-tech-summary.html

    .

  33. _Jim says:

    To the rab-bit … November 1, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Pointing out that the AMSU-2 uses microwaves and that GOES-R will be primarily visible and Near iR is snarky? Puzzled in DC inquires.

    Hmmm … the foregoing does not appear to be entirely correct regarding GOES-R and “IR”.

    Please note and update your knowledge base as you may see fit; in particular note the capability of GOES-R for IR spectra down into the LWIR region to around 13.6 um:
    http://www.goes-r.gov/spacesegment/ABI-tech-summary.html

  34. Eli Rabett says:

    Yes, but still not enough to see through the clouds to the sea ice. Regards

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