The GOES-18 satellite observing weather and environmental phenomena from space provided striking views of the planet. It observed storms in east Texas that produced large hail and strong wind gusts, and tornadoes in New Mexico. The instrument also captured large areas of blowing dust and the rapid expansion of a massive wildfire. GOES data has helped meteorologists forecast weather patterns. However, there are still some questions that remain to be answered. Let’s take a look at some of the key elements of this important mission.
GOES’s primary payload instruments provide real-time data to SESC for monitoring the near-Earth solar-terrestrial electromagnetic environment. Imager measures infrared and visible reflected solar energy. Sounder provides data on cloud top temperature and vertical atmospheric temperature profiles. GOES also collects data on ozone distribution. In this way, GOES is essential in monitoring volcanic activity and associated ash plumes. GOES’s capabilities will improve safety for aviation.
While GOES-1 is no longer in operation, GOES-3 continues to serve the public. GOES-2 launched on July 1, 2008, and GOES-3 was launched on July 17, 2017. The instrument is equipped with a nine-meter dish, which was capable of communicating with its satellite for five hours a day. Data rates from GOES-3 exceeded 2.048 megabytes per second under optimum conditions. Its new capabilities will also help us better understand the sun’s activity.
GOES data are vital for weather monitoring and short-term forecasting. Data from GOES are distributed by the National Environmental Satellite and Information Service to a variety of research and operational centers. A wide variety of users utilize GOES data products, including the National Weather Service, commercial weather services, the Department of Defense, and the research community. If you’re considering joining GOES, make sure to learn more about it and what it can do for you.
The GOES satellites are in a geostationary position relative to the Earth’s rotation, which means they always stay over a single point on the planet’s surface. GOES monitors the Earth’s atmosphere, monitoring atmospheric triggers that can lead to severe weather conditions. They orbit at a distance of approximately 22,300 miles above the surface of the Earth. There are two GOES satellites, one above the equator and the other above the equator.
GOES-R has recently completed two of its six planned mission rehearsals, which simulate specific steps in the satellite deployment process. These rehearsals help to ensure the satellite is ready for launch, and to evaluate the ground system, which is a global network of receiving stations linked to NOAA. GOES-R is currently scheduled to separate into two files on 17 December 2020. It will continue to send data from orbit until 2027. The next GOES mission is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2021.
GOES data is collected by over 20,000 ground-based DCPs. These are equipped with a recorder, antenna, and a slew of environmental sensors. They are programmed to collect sensor data and transmit them during specified time-slots on GOES channels. In addition, they can transmit data to up to 5,000 users. These are a few of the many benefits of GOES. They are the cornerstones of climate change forecasts.