GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) is a system of Earth and space environmental sensors that provides nearly continuous observational information to ground-based user stations. In addition to providing weather forecasts and warnings, GOES helps scientists monitor and study the earth and space. This includes tracking and predicting hazardous storms, as well as monitoring natural disasters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration owns and operates GOES satellites. GOES data is essential to short-term and long-term forecasting, and is also used by commercial weather services and universities for research purposes.
GOES satellites are located in geostationary orbit, where they hover 35,800 kilometers above Earth. They are used to monitor the planet’s surface and atmosphere, detecting electromagnetic radiation and sending back information to the Earth. The satellites are controlled from the Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Maryland. They are used to measure the earth’s temperature, wind speed, and other atmospheric conditions. They are also used to provide real-time coverage of tropical cyclones.
The GOES system contains space-based elements, including three optical instruments, which provide half a terabyte of data to the Earth each day. The Data Collection System relays large amounts of environmental data to and from more than 20,000 data collection platforms in the western hemisphere. These stations are equipped with an array of environmental sensors and a transmitter. They are programmed to transmit data on specific GOES channels during specified time-slots.
The imager is a sensor that senses infrared radiant energy and the sun’s reflected light. This allows meteorologists to determine the type of cloud and track its movement. A sounder is another instrument that measures the distribution of ozone and surface and cloud top temperatures. The GOES satellites also have a lightning mapper, which can predict the intensity and severity of storms. This tool can help emergency response crews stay safe during severe weather events.
GOES data is used by universities, commercial weather services, and the Department of Defense. The GOES Image Viewer provides images of the earth. It can be hosted on the WorldView website or customized to include GOES data. GOES data is also distributed through a radio relay. The DCS Automated Processing System, which is located at the NOAA Command and Data Acquisition facility in Wallops, Virginia, is a large dual-computer-based system that continuously monitors all GOES RF channels for incoming DCP messages. It can re-distribute messages to up to 5,000 users. It is also designed to archive messages from up to 100,000 platforms.
GOES East instruments scan the entire visible hemisphere. GOES West instruments provide a better view of western North America and Alaska, including the Pacific Ocean. In addition, the GOES-R band is used for air temperature estimation and cloud observations. The satellites are designed to provide sharper, more defined imagery.
The GOES-R series of satellites is an important part of the NOAA’s forecasting and monitoring of the environment. These instruments can help to monitor dangerous storms, as well as help researchers learn about the planet’s Earth and space weather. The GOES satellites also provide real-time coverage of tropical cyclones.