NOAA’s GOES-R satellite launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida this weekend at 6;42pm on November 19, 2016.
Click here to read more about the launch of GOES-R.
But what’s next for the nation’s most advanced weather satellite to-date?
The GOES-R team has confirmed satellite communication and power. Over the next several days, team members will perform a series of maneuvers to bring the satellite into geostationary orbit. This is expected to occur approximately 16 days after launch.
Once GOES-R — now GOES-16 — is placed in geostationary orbit, it will undergo an extended checkout and validation phase lasting approximately one year. The satellite will transition to operations immediately afterward. Whether it will serve as GOES East or GOES West has yet to be determined. The final decision will be based on the health and performance of the NOAA GOES constellation.
GOES-R’s New Imager is Faster and Clearer than Ever
GOES-R is NOAA’s most advanced geostationary weather satellite to-date. But how different can it really be?
Imagine going from a black and white TV to high definition overnight. GOES-R is faster and clearer than current GOES satellites, providing forecasters with more detail and more information than ever before.
Using a powerful new instrument, called the Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, GOES-R will provide data and imagery about weather over the entire Western Hemisphere in real-time– it can even do it as frequently as every 30 seconds! This enables NOAA to gather data using three times more channels, four times the resolution, at five times faster than before. This faster, more accurate data means better observations of developing storms. The ABI will be used for a wide range of applications related to weather, oceans, land, climate and hazards.
This video from Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite, which uses a nearly identical imager to the one that will be aboard GOES-R, shows the incredible detail and clarity that will be available from NOAA’s new satellite. Located over the Asia-Pacific region, Himawari-8 provides geostationary Earth observations over the Eastern Hemisphere. This data, along with other geostationary satellites around the globe, help provide a more complete understanding of Earth from 22,000 miles away.
GOES-R’s Revolutionary Lightning Mapper
Did you know that NOAA’s GOES-R satellite will carry the first operational lightning mapper ever flown in space?
Based on years of research, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, or GLM, is a revolutionary new instrument that will measure total lightning (in-cloud, cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground) activity continuously over the Americas and adjacent ocean regions with near-uniform spatial resolution.
Severe weather often exhibits a significant increase in lightning activity many minutes before radar can detect a potential storm. This data visualization shows actual lightning measurements captured by an array of ground-based lightning detectors capable of tracing how lightning propagates through the atmosphere. It simulates how the GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper will monitor atmospheric flashes in and around potentially severe weather. This technology could provide critical minutes of valuable warning time in advance of approaching severe storms.
GOES-R: Monitoring Space Weather
GOES-R will be a game changer for forecasting across the United States, but did you know Earth’s weather is not the only weather the satellite will monitor?
In today’s digital world, space weather is no joke. Geomagnetic storms, caused by eruptions on the surface of the sun, can interfere with communications and navigation systems on Earth, threaten power utilities, damage satellites, and cause risk to astronauts. GOES-R has a suite of instruments that play a critical role in monitoring space weather.
Check out this video to learn more about how GOES-R’s instruments will support NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.